This is a simple and delicious way to make lentils, with fresh herbs and vegetables that are easy to find year round. Add more broth and seasonings and make into a soup! Double the recipe if you want to have leftovers.
1 cup French lentils, rinsed and soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1 medium
tomato, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 square piece kombu or kelp seaweed (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese or lemon, cut into wedges (optional)
- When lentils have rehydrated, drain and set aside in a bowl.
- Heat large sauté pan or medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, and pinch sea salt. Sauté for about 3 minutes, then add carrot, celery, garlic, and rosemary. Sauté a few minutes more.
- Add lentils, zucchini, water (or vegetable or chicken broth), tomato, fresh thyme, bay leaf, and kombu (if using). Cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, and simmer until lentils are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add salt and a few grinds black pepper. Simmer 5 minutes more. Turn off heat and remove bay leaf and thyme stems.
- Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with parmesan cheese or a squeeze of fresh lemon, if desired.
Make a lentil salad with leftover lentils. Add some of all of the following: diced fresh tomatoes, diced cucumber, chopped fresh parsley and/or basil, capers or sliced kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and Dijon vinaigrette.
Make soup with leftover lentils. Add 2-3 cups of broth (depending on how many lentils you have leftover), bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1-2 cups chopped spinach or kale and sea salt to taste. Turn off heat. Garnish each bowl with fresh basil or parsley.
Keywords: healthy French cooking, Provençal recipe, French lentils, plant-based recipe