September 29, 2010 at 9:37 pm 3 comments

Lentils 6

Can I tell you a secret? This is my favorite food ever.

I know it’s not much to look at. I know it honestly looks like mush on rice. But this is truly my ultimate comfort food. It ranks right up there with macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, and sausage casserole (more on that another day). This is a mom recipe, so that’s bound to be a contributing factor to its comfort-food-ness.

So go on. Fill your head with all the clichés about looks being deceiving and not judging books by their covers. And give these adorable little beans their day in the jacuzzi.

Lentils 3

Get it? That was a metaphor for the giant pot of boiling water. My pot is a MONSTER, by the way. You honestly don’t need to use one this big, it just happens to be the only big one I have. That’s me: proudly working with what I’ve got since 1984.


This is a really simple recipe, it just takes a long time to cook. Once the prep is done, you get to sit back and relax for a couple hours while the lentils absorb the bulk of the liquid.

When they’ve reached the state of mushiness that you desire, scoop a mess of them onto a pile of tiny pasta (such as ditalini) or rice, and top with a sprinkling of parmesan or feta cheese. Add spoon. And ideally, a comfy chair, some comfy sweat/pajama pants, and a funny show to make all the day’s stress melt away. Trust me, these lentils are the perfect addition to that sort of evening.

Lentils 9


I work from the recipe as it was given to me by my mom, which literally calls for “lots of water” so…as you can guess, it’s not an exact science (and I love that about it). If you want to add more veggies, go for it. I usually just chop until I get tired of chopping and go with whatever that yields.

  • 1 lb brown lentils
  • 1 cup chopped celery (3-4 stalks)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (3-4 carrots)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 envelope powdered onion soup mix (ex: Lipton’s)
  • lots of water (fill your big soup pot half full, unless it’s a true monster like mine, in which case go for a bit less than half full; mom’s note says to use at least 2 quarts)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • tiny pasta (ex: ditalini) or rice for serving – prepared as directed
  • parmesan or feta cheese (optional)

Fill a stock pot/dutch oven/whatever you cook soup in half full with water (at least 2 quarts). Add the lentils. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium. Add the carrots, celery, sausage and soup mix, stirring to combine. Cook for two hours, or until the lentils are basically mush and most of the water has cooked away, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to thicken and the lentils start becoming mushy, reduce the heat to low and stir often to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. About ten minutes before serving, add the olive oil and stir. Serve over pasta or rice.


Entry filed under: Kept to myself. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. annette  |  September 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I’m sure I put a chopped up onion in that too.. but I don’t recall whether that was in the original recipe or not. it originally came to me in IRC chat sometime back in the 90’s by a gal named cheryl something that I’ve long since forgotten. I’m glad I didn’t forget about the olive oil, it makes it.

  • 2. annette  |  September 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    oh.. and if you haven’t picked up on it yet, hulu up raising hope next time you’re lookin’ for a bit of funny tv. 🙂

  • 3. Win  |  September 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Sounds great!!! We did a lentil and kale recipe recently that was similar!! to paraphrase Collin….”I do love me some lentils!”

    Thanks for sharing!!


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