One of my favorite recipes for over 25 years is one from Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe called “Lentils, Monastery Style,” presumably named so because it is simple, hearty, and the kind of fair that monks and nuns might find on their table. Using canned tomatoes, it takes about an hour to make, which is why lentils are one of my favorite legumes!
Lappe has gone to doing many awesome things related to the planet and food and democracy, which you can check out by going to the website she runs with her daughter, Small Planet Institute. There’s even a new sustainable recipe feature.
Over the years, I’ve adapted the Lentil recipe by adjusting the amounts and some of the ingredients. Today I got up early and made it for a workday at my church. It’s possible that my cats were freaked out at the cooking that happened so early this morning. Every bit was gone by the end of lunch! So I thought it might be nice to share with others who are needing hearty fare at this time of year.
I like to make a lot of it when I do, so the amounts in parenthesis make a larger pot.
Lentils, Spiritual Style – from raw to finished in one hour!
2 T canola or olive oil
2 (3) large onions, chopped
1 (2) carrot(s), chopped
1/2 tsp each thyme and marjoram, or other Italian herbs
3 cups (1 liter) stock
1 (1 1/2) c green lentils
(1/4 c pearl barley)
salt to taste
1/4 (3/8) c chopped parsley
1 one-pound (most of a 28 oz) canned, chopped tomatoes
1 T balsamic vinegar, or wine vinegar, or lemon juice
Optional: 1 T avocado oil
2/3 c shredded cheese–swiss or quattro fromagio are good
Heat oil in large pot. Saute onions and carrots 3-5 min. Add herbs, saute 1 min more. Add stock,
lentils, salt, parsley, and tomatoes. Cook on low heat, covered, until lentils are tender (about 45 min).
Add vinegar, cook for 5 min.
For serving, you can put cheese in the bottom of the bowl, and pour over, or ladle soup into bowls, and invite
guests to top with cheese. Delicious with bread or corn muffins!