21 January, 2022
Sausages and Lentils
I have always been a bit leery of lentils and actually have no idea why. They aren’t offensive. They’re basically beans in disguise – they soak up the flavour of whatever they’re cooked in….ooh, they’re tofu!
I very occasionally add lentils to a stew, but really as a filler, not as an “ingredient”, if that makes sense. Sort of like when you add barley to stew or beans to chili…..they fill you up, but they don’t really taste like anything.
I believe I last bought lentils 20 years ago. I bought a little bag of red lentils and used it sporadically for a few years until, in a cupboard clean out, the last of the bag went into the garbage – before we had compost bins.
I think I equate them to vegetarian food and don’t give them much thought. They’re little fibre powerhouses, though, and, according to the Italians, lucky. This year, I figured my family could use a little luck and I can never find black eyed peas, which are also supposed to be lucky, so I made sausages and lentils for New Years Eve supper.
I figure if they’re lucky then, that’s great, but they tasted pretty good, so they’ll go onto the meal roster – maybe they’re really, really lucky if you eat them all year round!
- Olive oil – you may not need any if your sausages are greasy
- Italian sausage – basically 1 sausage per person you are serving. I didn’t have any Italian sausages, so I used breakfast sausages, and they did the trick just fine.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped (I used 2 handfuls of baby carrots, and I didn’t bother chopping)
- 4 stalks of celery
- Garlic, much garlic, all minced up. Start with 2-3 and see how it tastes
- Lentils – I had a can of them in the cupboard, so I used that, but if you don’t have a can, use 2 cups of dried lentils
- 4 cups of broth – I used chicken and I only used about 1 cup because my lentils were already cooked
- 1 big can of tomatoes
- Thyme and oregano, measure with your heart, or just sprinkle a couple generous pinches of each and taste
- If you have fresh parsley, chop up a handful. I did not, so I threw in some dried parsley – probably a tablespoon or so
Brown the sausages in the olive oil if you are using it. Take the sausages out (they wont’ be cooked at that’s all good, they will get there).
Add in the onion and stir around until translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables including the lentils, broth and spices (keep the parsley until serving time if it’s fresh) and bring to a boil – remember, if your lentils are from a can, you can cut your broth down to a cup, if that. Turn down the heat so it simmers and add the sausages back in. Cover and let cook about half an hour.
Remove the sausages again and portion out the lentil mixture, then top with the sausages. Enjoy a lovely supper with, hopefully, some good luck!