Lentil eintopf („one-pot“) is one of the most classic German eintopf recipes. I quite simply grew up with it, it being readily available at so many opportunities. My mother would put the dish on the table frequently enough, more often than not bought ready-to-serve at the local butcher, and I remember that my father loved it expecially. When I was a student, the Bonn mensa (student canteen) had one of three floors entirely dedicated to serving eintopf to hungry students. Every Friday, I would go with my girlfriend to have a big bowl of steaming stew, two skinny blonde girls lapping up what even through the most forgiving eyes can only be described as portions of shapeless brown-to-greyish-green-looking mush. And while she occasionally fancied the rice pudding and I the pea eintopf, we would even more often agree to go for the lentil eintopf. When I was a young professional, I would often spend lunches with my colleagues alternating between different international cuisines and yet – once a week we all went to the market which then had an eintopf stand, and we would have a serving of the thick stew which in the uncomfortable weather dominating German spring, fall and winter would always feels like a warm hug from within. Every today, I still jump on my bike in my lunch breaks every now and then to go to one of the Berlin markets that has an eintopf stand just like the one I frequented with my colleagues in the past to consume a bowl of the somewhat odd-looking dish. Eintopf in general and lentil eintopf in particular for me is a trip down memory lane, a link between old and new culinary experiences as that one dish with which you refuel before you are ready to go exploring again.
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 125 grams of lardons
- 2 small onions, roughly chopped
- 400 grams of brown lentils, rinsed under cold water
- 1 liter of vegetable stock
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced
- 1 small leek, diced
- 4 mettwürste
- 2 tablespoon of cider vinegar
- 1 pinch of sugar
- freshly ground black pepper, salt
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsely
- For serving: Mustard.
- Let the butter melt in a large saucepot over low to medium heat.
- Add the lardons and onions and fry for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown.
- Add the lentils and the stock. Bring to the boil. Add the thyme.
- Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with the vinegar, sugar, freshly ground papper and salt.
- Then add the sausages. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Check that the lentils are done but still have a bite.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and mustard on the side.