1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small carrots cut in 1/4-inch slices on the diagonal
1 cup du Puy lentils
3 cups chicken broth (use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian)
4 parsley stems plus 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the leeks in the olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots and saute 1 minute further then add the lentils, chicken broth, parsley stems and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft but not mushy, about 40 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the heat up to medium and cook strongly 5-8 additional minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Fish out the bay leaf, the dark green leaf part of the leek and parsley stems, stir in the balsamic vinegar and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Cook's Note: Du Puy lentils are the small, blue-green marbled lentils grown in the volcanic soil of the southwest of France. If you can't find du Puy lentils, an equal quantity of another small lentil may be substituted. You may need to add 10 or so minutes of cooking time.
This recipe was provided by a finalist, who may or may not be a professional cook, for The Next Food Network Star. Food Network has not tested this recipe and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.