Lentils are one of the staples in my pantry. These cute little pulses are nutrition packed! Full of protein, fiber, iron, vitamins, and minerals…meat doesn’t even come close to providing what these babies give us! Speaking of meat, have you had a chance to watch Cowspiracy? I recommend. I think we all need to be aware of the science and research regarding the true impact of animal agriculture. Ok, there’s my little plant-based plug for the day.
Lentils are quick cooking and taste incredible. This is a simple recipe that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. I like to serve these lentils alongside a grain, vegetable, and salad for a lovely meal. The nuance of flavors in this dish are so addictive! The vegetables lay a foundation of flavor, while the touch of tomato paste and vinegar gives it a bit of tang. I always want to eat more of this dish as it satisfies the palate in such a pleasing way. Long live lentils!
1⁄2 pound lentils (any variety will work, but I like to use a tricolor variety)
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 1⁄2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
1 1⁄2 cups chopped carrots (3 carrots)
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add in a bit of vegetable broth to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, vegetable stock, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season, to taste. (Adapted from Recipe Source: Ina Garten)