Rock Bottom Recipe: Rock Bottom Lentils

Just in time for weekend planning – we’ll start a little tradition that every Thursday or Friday a recipe will be posted. Dishes that quintessentially make up our household. We are omnivores but I am quite skilled at turning many dishes into vegan or GF (feel free to ask if you don’t see correlating substitutions – I’ve probably made them at some point and have some insight). And though we do eat meat, we are not afraid of vegetables or vegetarian dinners. I think everyone is different and magickal and special and has their own food interests and preferences. I like to think I am sensitive enough and savvy enough to offer something for anyone.

This particular dish is a staple here – it’s relatively simple, very hearty, and pretty affordable. It’s one of those crazy dishes that doesn’t sound all that exciting but every time we make it, we are so happy once we take a bite and wonder why we thought we weren’t going to be satisfied. I hope you enjoy it – I tend to make a vat and then we forage from it for the weekend. Just a tip: I tend to ‘wing it’ when cooking (not baking, there I’m more of a stickler for the recipe) so don’t fret about small changes to the amounts, just do what feels good.

Rock Bottom Lentils

  • 2 cups lentils du puy (it really makes a difference to have these little green and black speckled wonders – they cook up fast and tasty)
  • 2 Large (28oz) cans of roasted diced tomatoes or 1 quart home canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped – all with juice, plus same amount of water (refill cans or jar)
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped (and optional, many times we omit because the child doesn’t care for them)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • Optional spices: bay leaf, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme) – or 4 sprigs, 2 tsp chili powder


  •  Complicated version: saute onions, cumin, cardamom in olive oil in Medium pot until fragrant. Add lentils and garlic and saute another 2 min (less ‘complicated’ version – don’t do this, just add everything to the pot at once, and yes, we have used schmaltz/lard/bacon fat at points to saute with, as well).
  •  Add rest of ingredients and bring to barely a boil, let actively simmer until desired consistency (we like it thick and soft but still soupy, these lentils retain their shape even when soft which is nice). Should take about 45 minutes.
  •  When ready – salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs if used.
  •  We serve it over jasmine rice with an extra swirl of olive oil.
  •  Extras: If you just need a little ‘more’ – or if you’ve had it for 2 days and want to re-excite it, it’s great with a side of sausage or with an egg on top. It’s even good on toast.
  • Serves 8 (w/o rice, 10 with). Enjoy! I think I’ll go make a pot of these yummies right now…I’ll post a pic when it’s done!




Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

2 thoughts on “Rock Bottom Recipe: Rock Bottom Lentils

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