Lentils to Survive the Winter

// Written by Francisca Gomez // 

I find it difficult to eat healthy in the winter. I can’t eat salads, because I want my food to be warm. Carbs are great, but it is hard to resist adding a creamy sauce to pasta. I usually settle for brown rice and sautéed vegetables, but it gets boring after weeks of cold weather.

Luckily for me, I treated myself to a $1 per month subscription to the magazine Bon Appétit for Christmas. The January edition featured “The New Healthy,” and I discovered this delicious lentils dish. It fulfills all of my Winter Quarter requirements: easy to make, filling, warm, and rich in flavor.

(Canal House Lentils, Bon Appétit, January 2014)

Level Easy
Servings 3 – 4
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Total Time 50 Minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup green lentils
2 ½ cups of water
Salt, pepper

2 tablespoons soy sauce (it makes the lentils savory, but you’ll lose some of the flavor from the tomato paste. I have tried it with and without soy sauce, and both taste great, just different)


1. Chop the leek and dice the garlic.

Photo credit: Francisca Gomez

2. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.

3. When the oil is hot, add the leek, garlic, and tomato paste.

4. Stir until the tomato paste begins to darken, 3-5 minutes.

5. Add the lentils and the water.

Photo credit: Francisca Gomez

6. When the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot, allowing the water to simmer.

7. Stirring occasionally, cook the lentils for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed (Tip: use the spoon to move the lentils and take a look at the bottom of the pot, as there should be a very small amount of water left).

8. Remove the pot from the heat; add a few pinches of salt, pepper and soy sauce (if you choose not to use soy sauce, add a little more salt).

9. Cover the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes.

10. Serve hot, and top with scallions if you like.

11. If you have any leftovers, store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Photo credit: Francisca Gomez


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