KOAB Recipe Exchange: Beans, Lentils & Legumes (Hummus)


There is nothing more frugal than beans and lentils. Buy a bag of dried beans and feed your family for a week for, what, less than $2?

Beans are the ultimate frugal protein, but can they be fancied up for Shabbat? We eat most of our beans and lentils during the week, admittedly, but a few legume-based dishes do grace our Shabbat table as well. In August, I shared our Puy Lentils and Fennel Salad, which is a summertime favorite.

Another one of our year-round favorites is homemade humus. Served with a few other healthful and delicious dips, it makes the perfect starter to your Shabbat meal, as taught to me by my friend Rivka — a wonderful cook. I’ve fine-tuned Rivka’s recipe to make it my own, including decreasing her recommended amount of techina to give it a slightly more mild flavor.

Unlike the store bought hummus (and we do like Sabra, don’t get me wrong), this homemade version is a bit smokier and fuller bodied. It won’t last as long in the fridge, since you don’t load it up with preservatives, but at least in my house, we’ve never had a problem eating it in time!

Homemade Hummus


  • 1 15-oz. cans of chickpeas or 2 cups of cooked chick peas, drain and reserve the liquid
  • scant 1 T techina (the original recipe called for 2T)
  • 3-4 T lemon juice, fresh squeezed if possible
  • 3 cloves of garlic, or to taste
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt to taste


In a food processor, quickly pulse garlic, then add chick peas and lemon juice. Blend until chunky.

While blending on a low speed, slowly drizzle in olive oil. The oil should smooth out the chumus, but it will still be quite thick. Continue blending and slowly pour in reserved cooking water/brine. I eyeball this, but I’d say it’s about 1/4 of a cup. Continue adding as necessary to get the consistency you want.

Add salt to taste. If you are using canned chickpeas, you may want to skip this step, since the brine is rather salty.

Serving suggestion ~ I like put my hummus on a dish or wide mouthed bowl and then smooth out a well in the middle by using the back of a soup spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and a dusting of paprika or zhatar. Garnish with a couple of whole chick peas, toasted pine nuts or cilantro leaves.


Okay, now it’s your turn to please share! Tell us, what’s your favorite frugal dish using beans, lentils or other legumes? (I’m looking for a new black bean soup recipe, if anyone has a good one!)

Photo Credit: MatDev.net


  1. This is a really easy recipe. Its pretty quick to make and I like the flavor.

    Corn Tabouli

    1 cup bulgar wheat
    1 cup boiling water
    1 can corn
    1 tomato (seeded & chopped)
    fresh parsley
    white vinegar
    olive oil
    fresh garlic
    salt & pepper

    Boil water and add the bulgar wheat. Let the wheat sit in the water until absorbed (turn off the water). Add the rest of the ingredients to taste. See… pretty easy…. I never really measured… I like garlic so maybe 1 or 2 cloves… a start slow with the vinegar and oil and taste it. You cant go wrong. Salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Legumes are a favorite at our house, particularly with a child who has vegetarian tendencies and only eats meat to please us. To get enough protein in his diet we are alwasy having legumes. This is a family favorite. It is great in the summer and also makes a colorful side salad for Shabbat.

    Chickpea Salad With Cumin & Garlic
    serves 6-8:

    * 16 ounces of canned or cooked chickpeas
    * 1/2 cup of kalamata olives
    * 2 tomatoes, chopped
    * 1 purple onion, diced
    * 1 sweet red pepper, diced
    * /2 cup olive oil
    * 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
    * 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or hot red pepper flakes
    * 1 tablespoon cumin
    * 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro or parsley


    Mix all ingredients and serve chilled

  3. Yay!!!! I love love love beans and lentils!!! No time to post a real recipe or pretty entry on my blog now, but cook up some black beans (about half a pound) with a can of crushed tomatoes, onion, corn, and green pepper, about a half a cup of salsa, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, then add whatever meat you have lying around (we like chicken or skirt steak.) Garnish it with “better than sour cream” and serve over rice. We call it southwest black bean soup and drool whenever we hear it.

    Happy Shabbos eating!

    • You can always come back and link to a beautifully pictorial post when you get it up. This sound really hearty and delicious. Thanks for sharing, Leigh Ann!

  4. My husband and I really like vegetarian split pea soup. We often have it as a main course with some crusty bread and a salad. Could also be a nice starter. I’ve adapted a recipe from Moosewood Cookbook to suit our tastes.

    Split Pea Soup
    Simmer 3 cups dry split peas in 7-8 cups water with 2 tsp salt and 1 bay leaf for 3-4 hours. Remove bay leaf. Sautee 1 chopped onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 1-2 thinly sliced potatos, 2 cups chopped carrots and 3 cloves minced garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Once the veggies are soft add to simmering soup, continue simmering soup until the consistency is the way you like it. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

    • This yummy sounding soup reminds me of a funny story. When I was first living in Israel and my Hebrew wasn’t very fluent, I wanted to buy green lentils. I didn’t know how to say lentils. Or peas for that matter. So I bought a package of what I thought were lentils. Made lentil soup. Something didn’t taste right. Turns out I made split pea soup!

      This sounds delicious recipes sounds like a perfect winter soup. I bet my boys would love it, too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is adapted from the TGIF Fridays black bean soup. It’s delicious! It uses chicken broth for a meat meal or could be made with veggie broth, too.

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I’ve also used olive oil – personal pref.)
    3/4 cup diced onion
    3/4 cup diced celery
    1/2 cup diced carrot
    1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    4 (15 ounce) cans black beans
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    1 Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium/low heat. 2 Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and cook 15 minutes or until the onions are practically clear. 3 Keep the heat low enough that the veggies don’t brown and be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter. 4 While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water. 5 Measure 3 cups of the drained and strained beans into a food processor with 1 cup of chicken stock. 6 Puree on high speed until smooth. 7 When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken stock, and every other ingredient in the list to the pot. 8 Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender.

    • Hooray – a black bean soup recipe! I will use pareve Osem chicken stock, so I can top with sour cream! Mmmm, can’t wait to try this one!

  6. Elana Gotkine says

    Although I am not a big lentil fan, I have recently started using red lentils which break down during cooking and don’t have such a grainy texture as other lentils. Here is my recipe for easy carrot lentil soup.

    Carrot lentil soup
    11oz or 1 1/2 cups red lentils
    1 kilo carrots, peeled and grated
    ~2 liters vegetable stock
    1 1/2 tbsp canola oil (can be omitted)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Put everything into a very large saucepan. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for ~30 minutes. The soup is ready when the lentils have swollen and the carrots lose their raw orange color and look more golden-yellow-orange. Blend the soup with an immersion blender, or in a food processor. If you prefer a thinner soup add more water/stock. Season to taste.

    • Elana – Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I love red lentils – they are so much more “adin”. There is a great and simple Egyptian blended lentil soup that I made once, and your delicious sounding carrot and lentil soup reminds me of. I will have to add this to my list for the winter rotation. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. Hey, here are some of the ones I make at home.

    In my house this is called “yellow couscous”. My kids (4 and 1) eat it so I make it fairly often

    Mix equal parts of quinoa, bulgur, and red lentils.

    1 cup of the mixture
    2-3 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
    2 Tbsps of raisins
    1 tsp od turmeric
    1 tsp of cinnamon
    salt and pepper
    some oil
    about 2 cups of water ( I try to add a bit more so it isn’t too dry).

    Heat oil and add the mixture, cook for 1-2 minutes, add everything else and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.

    For beans, I like black beans best.

    2 cups dried black beans
    1 pepper chopped
    some celery chopped
    1 onion chopped
    some garlic
    fresh parsley
    at least 2-3 tsp of salt
    1 T oil
    carrots, zuchhini, Kolerabi, fennel, or any other vegetable that you need to use before they rot.
    Feel free to add and remove as many ingredients as you want. I do it all the time depending on what I have available.

    Soak them overnight, If you forget like I always do, add boiling water to them 1-2 hours before cooking. If you also forget to do this just cook with more water and for longer.

    Use a pressure cooker
    Stir fry all vegetables and garlic, add water and bean. You should add just enough water to be a tiny bit below the presoaked beans and no more, this isn’t a soup. Bring to a boil, Cover and cook until done, it may take between 1 and 2 hours, I like the beans on the mushy side. Serve with white rice

    Pressure Cooker Baked Beans

    2 cups white beans (read abouve about presoaking them)
    1 onion chopped
    some garlic
    1 tsp dijon mustard
    about 8 oz tomato paste or sauce (I use homemade pasta sauce)
    salt and pepper
    a bit of vinegar
    1 tsp cumin
    bay leaves
    1 Tbsp or less of brown sugar
    1.5 cups of water

    stir fry onion in pressure cooker, and garlic about 1 minute before adding everything else. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Cook in pressure cooker at least 2 hours. Serve with white rice

    nuff for now, I didn’t even get to the lentils, if you need more let me know

    • Great recipes, thank you! I am so intrigued by the “yellow couscous”. I will definitely try that this winter. And your black bean and baked beans sound great as well. I love your “if you forget, then…” instructions. Sounds like you cook like I do! Thanks for sharing, Raquel!

  8. Thanks for this blog. I am a mom of 2 living in Northern NJ. I am taking a few years off from working and trying to stretch my dollars as much as possible.

    I have started clipping coupons, shopping strategically, and buying produce at a produce market where the prices are 50% of what they are in the supermarket. These are things I did not have time to do while I was working in the city. My estimate savings per week are around $120.

    I make a lentil soup every Sunday. It is my lunch every day. It is nutritious , filling, low fat and it is an entire meal. I make the recipe from Barefoot Contessa. I throw in many vegetables so it is an all around great meal.

  9. My favorite lentil recipe is an Ethiopian lentil soup, which is marvelously easy. Ingredients: onion (about half of one, to taste), lots of garlic, fresh ginger (or I sometimes make do with powdered, and it’s still fine), dried basil, olive oil, and lentils. To start, saute the onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil, then add the basil for a little bit. Add the lentils, toast for a couple of minutes, then add water- preferably boiling, but using cold water doesn’t spoil anything. Boil until everything is soft and starts to be soup, then add salt and pepper to taste, and you’re set.

    I also sometimes (including this week) put red lentils in caserole, to give it a better protein content, and help bind it together. I’ve served it for shabbat as well as chol, and people seem to like it…

  10. OK I am getting hungry reading all these recipes. One of my FAVORITE things to add into chumus is chipotle chile powder. I buy the chipotle chiles in my local hispanic grocery store and chop them in my spice/coffee grinder (tip — wrap the outside of the grinder with a wet towel otherwise you might inhale the chile powder and it can be very uncomfortable. Better to do this with no kids around).

    I don’t put this in anything I think my kids will eat.

    I have a simple recipe and a question.
    1) How to get your kids to eat legumes when they typically reject them? Is it really true that if you serve it to hungry children on a regular basis eventually they will eat them and come to love them? Which beans seem to be most palatable to children? If I so much as mention the word lentil, I get turned up noses.

    1) Smash up well-cooked red or black beans in pan basically making refried beans but you really don’t need the oil.
    2) Smear the well-smashed beans on crunch corn tortilla.
    3) Top with cheese and stick it in the toaster oven.

    Two out of three of my kids love this very simple meal and eat 4 or 5 of these babies. I like them with other add-ons such as salsa.

    I have made blackbean soup with seitan instead of meat for Shabbos lunch meal and most people will eat it. My family does like seitan.

    • I have gotten my kids to eat more legumes by serving it to them on a regular basis. We let them put whatever they want on the beans or lentils – cheese usually, or with chips.

  11. I try to use beans or lentils 1 – 2 times a week. A favorite is taco and/or burrito bar with black or kidney beans, rice, veggies.

    Here are a couple of others:

    Sloppy Veggie Sandwiches

    1 c chopped carrots
    1 c chopped celery
    2/3 c dry lentils
    2/3 c brown rice
    1/2 c chopped onion
    1 clove minced garlic
    2 T brown sugar
    2 T prepared mustard
    1/2 t salt
    1/8 t ground red pepper
    2 14oz cans veg or chicken broth
    1 15oz can tomato sauce
    2 T apple cider vinegar

    Cook on low 6 hours, or until rice and lentils are done. Stir in tomato sauce and vinegar. Cook 30 more min. Serve on buns. I double this recipe for my family of 7, and make homemade buns.

    Veggie Chili
    I make this when peppers are on sale at Aldi (3/99 cents!) and double or triple it. It freezes really well. Serve with rice or torillas.
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 cup chopped onions
    3/4 cup chopped carrots
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 chopped orange or yellow bell pepper
    1 chopped red bell pepper
    3/4 cup chopped celery
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
    1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
    1.5 c cooked kidney beans
    1.5 c cooked black beans
    1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
    1.Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
    2.Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  12. Mara, in your recipe you don’t say when to put in the techina.

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