I haven’t eaten much meat for over thirty years, for no environmental, health, religious or ethical reason, I just don’t like it much.
That means I eat a lot of fruit, nuts, vegetables and pulses. In fact, the lentils in the picture above are one of my favourite foods, and they’re really easy to make.
There are small and tiny brown lentils. I prefer the small ones, but you can use either.
There are plenty of recipes for lentil soup or stew, this is how I make it.
Rinse the lentils in a colander, you’ll need half a cup per person, be generous, you can eat the leftovers a day or two later.
Add three times the amount of water to a large pan. So, if you are cooking for two and use 1 whole cup of lentils, you need to add three cups of water. You can add more later on if it gets too thick.
Now add the vegetables, chopped into small pieces. For 2 people I’d include two carrots, half an onion, a clove of garlic, half a red and green pepper and some spinach.
There are four magical ingredients I add for flavour, a Spanish spicy sausage, called chorizo, a bay leaf, two spoonfuls of olive oil, and a stock cube (meat is best, but you can use a vegetable one, too).
If you don’t like or can’t get hold of the sausage, you can use come curry powder, or paprika, for flavour instead.
Now comes the easiest part, simmer for about 40 minutes, stiring occasionally.
If you’re in a hurry, you can use the pressure cooker. It’ll probably take less than 10 minutes.
However, you should know that lentils are best cooked slowly, and they’re delicious when reheated, so if you cook the day before, or even in the morning, they taste much better.
Another important part of the meal is the wine, I prefer a Spanish white, Rueda, but most people would accompany this meal with red wine, such as Rioja.
Did you know that in Italy lentils are said to bring prosperity for the year ahead when eaten on New Year’s Day?
Do you like or cook lentils? Feel free to share your tips or recipe if you do!