The lentil Husk (Lens culinaris) is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.
The seeds require a cooking time of 10 to 40 minutes, depending on the variety—shorter for small varieties with the husk removed, such as the common red lentil — and have a distinctive, earthy flavor. Lentil recipes are used throughout South Asia, the Mediterranean regions and West Asia. They are frequently combined with rice, which has a similar cooking time. Lentils are used to prepare an inexpensive and nutritious soup all over Europe and North and South America, sometimes combined with some form of chicken or pork.
Dried lentils can also be sprouted by soaking in water for one day and keeping moist for several days, which changes their nutrition profile.