This recipe came from a British newspaper or magazine, and may have been developed originally by Carola Weymouth of Cookie Crumbles.
It’s a complete meal, with legumes, vegetables, and meat.
At our house, it has evolved into this:
1 lb brown lentils
5 oz bacon, chopped
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1-1/2 Tbsp dried parsley)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 sweet Italian, Cumberland, or other good sausages
Rinse and pick over the lentils. Put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by about 1”. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer the lentils until the instructions call for them.
Fry bacon with 1 tsp oil in a large skillet for about 3 minutes, then add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook together over medium heat until bacon is done, onions are translucent, and other vegetables are tender. Add garlic and mushrooms, cover, and cook for a few minutes.
Add the simmering lentils and water to the bacon and vegetables. If necessary, add enough water to cover the lentils by about 1/2 inch. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
While the lentil mixture is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil in another skillet. Brown and cook the sausages.
Taste the lentils. They should be done, but not mushy. Season the lentil mixture and stir in vinegar and parsley.
Serve the sausages with the lentils. Keep leftover lentils in the refrigerator. They are delicious cold for lunch or a snack.