Leeks are the most understated member of the onion family in terms of flavour, but somehow they are the only ones that really get to shine on their own. The trick is to cook them until they are tender, but not slimy. Here the braising brings out their sweetness and the lentils give the dish enough body to stand alone as a main course.
This is a grown-up dish of quiet pleasure, as satisfying as finding a convenient parking space or a perfectly ironed shirt.
I’d serve this with some mashed potato or crusty bread.
1 red onion, chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
100g puy lentils
500ml veg stock
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
4 leeks, washed and chopped into 5cm lengths
Sweat the onion, celery and garlic in a little oil until the onion has gone translucent.
Add the lentils, the stock and the thyme.
Simmer gently, with the lid on the pan for 30 minutes.
Push the leek pieces into the liquid and simmer for another 15 minutes or the leeks are tender to the point of a knife.
Serve with mashed potato or crusty bread.