- 1 large onion, small-diced (or if you don’t like onion as much as we do, use a medium onion or a small one)
- 4 carrots, small-diced (or more, if you have more to use before you lose, or just want more fiber!)
- 4 ribs of celery hearts, small-diced (see note above at carrots)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Lentils will double or triple in volume as they cook, so be sure to use a big enough pot. In a medium-sized pot heat olive oil over medium heat, and add onion, carrots, celery and salt. Add several grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring periodically. Vegetables should “sweat” — that is, turn translucent and expel & simmer in their own natural moisture. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
- 2 large cloves garlic (or more if you like garlic!), minced
Add to vegetables and cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring frequently.
- 2 cups small green lentils — rinsed and inspected for small pebbles or discolored lentils
Add to veggie-garlic mix and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 1 minute.
- 1/2 cups tomato sauce (or leftover jarred marinara sauce that you didn’t use from another recipe … or 1 or 2 Tablespoons tomato paste … or you could add an entire can of petite-diced tomatoes … you get the idea — some tomato product)
Add to above and stir to combine
Optional: 1 heaping Tablespoon Italian herb mix; or 1 teaspoon dried oregano + 1 teaspoon dried basil + 1 teaspoon dried thyme; 1 bay leaf … really, any dried herb flavorings or mixes that you like
- 6 cups Britta-filtered water (or veggie stock)
Optional: 1/2 cup or 1 cup dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc — if using wine, reduce the water / veggie stock proportionately
Stir to combine everything. Turn heat up in order to bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered approximately 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
After 20-25 minutes, taste lentils to see if they are soft enough for your liking. We like these to be whole & soft, yet not mushy and not al dente. Keep checking every few minutes until they are done to your liking, which may mean that not all liquid is absorbed (or may mean you need to add more liquid if they need to cook longer). You can always drain any excess liquid from the lentils.
Adjust seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper.
Yield: approximately 7 cups lentils. I usually keep half a batch refrigerated for Mr. Batch to enjoy throughout the week, and freeze the other half to make a lentil loaf or lentil burgers (recipes to come) at a later time.
Can be enjoyed by themselves, or with brown rice, polenta, potatoes, garbanzo beans, etc. Can be dressing with a vinaigrette and incorporated into a salad. Let your imagination run wild! 😉