Many New Year’s traditions focus on encouraging prosperity by enjoying coin-shaped food like lentils and rich foods like sausages. This recipe is a great way to ring in the New Year, or to warm any cold winter’s night.
1 ¾ cups lentils, rinsed and drained
3 cups water
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 rib celery, finely chopped except for a 1-inch piece
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 fresh Italian sausages, halved to make 12 pieces, like BriarPatch’s house-made sausages (Vegan/Vegetarian: Use Beyond Meat Sausages)
¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly-chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Put lentils in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add water, one garlic clove, the 1-inch piece of celery, bay leaves and salt. Bring lentils to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until slightly under cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add sausages to the pot and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. (Note: For the Beyond Meat sausages, this should be about 6 – 8 minutes, for meat sausages, it will be longer.) Remove sausages to a plate. Stir in remaining garlic clove, the chopped celery and carrot and onion. Cook, stirring for 7 – 8 minutes, until softened but not browned.
Pour in tomato sauce and broth. For meat sausages, return them to the pot and add lentils. For Beyond Meat sausages, just add lentils at this point. Season with freshly-ground pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30, until lentils are completely tender and the stew has thickened. For Beyond Meat sausages, wait until the lentils have simmered uncovered on low heat for about 20 minutes and then add sausages into the pot for about the last ten minutes of cooking.
Serve in shallow bowls, with a drizzle of good olive oil and freshly-chopped parsley on top and crusty bread on the side.