everyday green lentils

I can’t remember the last time I missed the sight of brown dirt in the winter. It’s been over a month since a few major storms covered my part of the Northeast with snow, immediately becoming frozen in place. We literally have boulder-sized piles on the street made of solid ice and a thick layer of white on the ground you can walk on without making a dent.

All this icy whiteness is making me think about what spring will look like – one season I haven’t seen here in New Jersey yet – and what plants I’ll plant as soon as it thaws.

I always try to grow my favorite perennial herb plants like thyme, lavender and rosemary. Depending on what kind of winter blast Mother Nature sends, they can survive a few seasons, the lavender plants spreading out with fragrant flowers all summer.

Why did I start out writing about dirt?  It must be a sign of deprivation. Lentils taste nothing like earth or dirt to me, but their humbleness never fails to make a comforting, simple meal especially suited for eating while things go Arctic outside. 

French-style Le Puy lentils, tiny and beautifully slate green-colored, are my favorite. They hold their shape even after to cooking to tenderness.  A pot of these lentils can feed a few people for a few days, tasting even better leftover with a squeeze of lemon and some wilted greens.

everyday green lentils

Serving Size: 4 - 6

This is not quite a soup as most of the cooking water is absorbed, leaving just a bit of tasty, seasoned broth when the lentils are fully cooked. Add a cup or more water - along with extra salt - if you want to make soup.


  • 2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Put the lentils in a heavy pot with a capacity of at least 4 quarts.
  2. Quarter the carrots lengthwise, then slice each quarter in half lengthwise to form matchstick shapes; turn horizontally then dice into small cubes. Repeat with the celery.
  3. Add carrots, celery, shallot and bay leaf to the pot along with 2 teaspoons salt and 6 cups water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. They will have absorbed most, but not all the liquid.
  5. Taste the lentils and season with more salt - they'll probably need a bit more. Pour in 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir in parsley.


  1. I love lentils! I can certainly believe that you nust be having a bit of culture shock with the dreadful weather you have had to endure. Take heart! Spring will be here soon! In the mean time, enjoy the lentils. They look wonderful.

  2. I may have to make up a batch of these for dinner very soon! I love how simple these are–clearly they’d be perfect alongside so many other dishes.

  3. The green lentils are so pretty, I love the sound of this comforting side dish!

  4. I like the idea of lentils being a comfort food 🙂

  5. It appears many of us are suffering from too much white…I’m looking forward to green shoots but three feet of snow has to melt first. I agree with you about green lentils. I like adding a little orzo sometimes when I cook them.

    • Karen, orzo is a fave at my house too. I toast it sometimes before cooking – yum. We saw a little melting this week – yay! But back to Arctic freeze this week it seems..

  6. Karen – Just discovered your blog via homies. Your photos are beautiful. Love what you are doing!!

Leave a Comment