Umm…lentils. That’s the response most Spanish children will reply after they are told the answer to their question, “What are we going to eat?” Lentil stew is a standard dish in most Spanish households and as beloved to Spaniards as mac ‘n cheese is to Americans.
Over at the Lentilfest site, they post some interesting lore about this legume. It’s said the Egyptians thought that lentils enlightened children’s minds and made them more cheerful and studious. Well, I’d say this rings true for my two boys. At least, as far as being cheerful after eating a bowl of these legumes. There is also a story in the bible of Esau, who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentils. (See Genesis 25:30 to 25:36.)
Lentils are delicious prepared with sausage, or without it for a vegan dish. Have you ever eaten lentils? If you haven’t, maybe it’s time you try them.
*Tip – For best results soak the lentils overnight. The instructions below are for soaked beans.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Serves: 8
Cooking time for pressure cooker: 8 minutes.
Cooking time for stove top: 1 hour
1 pound bag of brown lentils (Whole Foods Market sells good organic lentils in bulk)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 sausage, turkey or chicken, sliced crosswise to ¼ inch thickness (Omit for vegans)
3 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
(Other optional additions: spinach, swiss chard, cabbage, root vegetables)
1.) Place the lentils in Soak the lentils overnight. When you are ready to use them, strain them and rinse them.
2.) Heat the olive oil and begin to sauté the garlic. After one minute add the onions and sauté until the are transparent.
3.) If you are using sausage, add that now and stir with the onions for one to two minutes. (*Omit this step for vegan lentils.)
4.) Add the paprika, the salt, and the bay leaf. Stir another minute and thenen Cover with 7 cups of water.
For stove top cooking: Cook over medium heat approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Time will vary according to the beans you are using.
For pressure cooker: Place in pressure cooker and cook on high until the loud hissing noise escapes from the top valve, and then lower the heat and cook on medium-low for 8 minutes. * Note – if the lentils are not quite done after 8 minutes, do not try to pressure cook them again or they will burn. Finish cooking them on the stove without the lid on.
Serve with a big green salad and fresh bread. Enjoy!
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This recipe is linked to linked to Simple Lives Thursday.