8 Italian-style, coarse textured sausages
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
250 grams button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups good beef stock
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
200 grams Puy lentils
100 grams baby spinach leaves
1 lemon or 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Brown the sausages in a little oil and set aside.
Heat the oil and butter in another sauté pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and the thyme, season and cook until very tender. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms start to colour.
Add the stock, water, bay leaf and the lentils and bring to the boil. Add the sausages, season and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt down.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Serve in shallow bowls with a salad to follow.
Pantry Note: Puy Lentils are small slate-green lentils have a delicate blue marbling. They are considered by many to be the best lentil because of their unique peppery flavour and the fact they hold their shape during cooking. They’re the only lentil to be identified by area of cultivation – grown in the Le Puy region of France.