For this recipe, we prefer the green French lentils sold as Le Puy or Du Puy. Though in a pinch, you could substitute brown lentils. Save a few of the fennel bulb’s feathery fronds for a garnish.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, the bulb thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups green (Le Puy) lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the lentils, tomato paste, bay leaves, and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked but not mushy.
Pour off any excess stock. Turn off the heat, stir in the mustard, if using, and season to taste with additional salt, if desired.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from delicious.com.au