I am thrilled that more people are cooking with lentils. One year I had my French chefs here for a cooking demo and they wanted to do a demonstration with fresh lentils. I choked! "You have got to be kidding?" Lentils were not a common staple in our pantries five years ago. Now I jot down every recipe I can find. My dear friend Carrie and I took a class last week in Washington and these are the lentils we cooked with....look really wonderful, don't they?
Lentils are usually associated with a game meat and even cooked with the game bones, which communicate the flavor of that particular game. I have cooked lentils with sausage, ham and vegetables and enjoyed each dish. Like pasta dishes, lentils taste better the next day .....my taste buds tell me this!
Ina Garten has a lentil soup which I enjoy making. I have added and deleted from this recipe. This is an adapted version.
1 cup of lentils, before cooked. Cover lentils with water and cook 20 minutes. Drain.
2 medium sized yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1 cup chopped celery plus 1/2 cup of the celery leaves, chopped.
1 tbls. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tbls. fresh chopped thyme
3 cups chopped carrots
1 can of chopped tomates, 8 oz. and all the liquid.
8 to 10 cups vegetable stock
1 package of turkey cooked sausage, Wilshire Farms long links, chopped into 1 inch pieces.
Saute all the vegetables and garlic in 3 tbls oil. Cook until tender and onions are translucent. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes and lentils. Simmer uncovered until all vegetables are tender. Don't let the lentils get too mushy. Add more salt to taste. Add the meat. Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle olive oil across the top. Serve with a crusty country bread and garden salad. Very good the next few days!