Lentils Monastary

Well, these last few days brought me an unexpected joy that coopted all of my attention after work: my dad found a cookbook that my mother had been writing on his computer!!  One of my initial reasons for starting this blog was to have a space to document my own experiments in the kitchen and also work through various recipes of hers. Up until yesterday, I had about 12 hand-written cards from her recipe box that she given me as a wedding gift.  Within this new drafted cookbook I found pages and pages of amazing content such as her notes on my great-grandmother’s gnocchi, various holiday meal menus and traditions, her english muffin bread, and so much more.  

In honor of this newfound treasure trove, I made Lentils Monastery, which she noted in the book as being “very satisfying and easily varied to your taste.  I have seen meat added or other vegetables.  Even beer.  [We got this] from the ‘Recipes for a small planet’ cookbook.”  

So, Mom, this one’s for you. And here’s to many more nights pouring through your favorites, your notes, and keeping them alive as traditions within our family.

lentil mon2


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions – diced
  • 2 large carrots – chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Marjoram
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of lentils (dry)
  • 1 lb can of tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry


Steps and Notes:

  1. Warm up a soup pan and add the oil, then saute the onions and carrots for 3 minutes
  2. Add the spices and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, lentils, and tomatoes to the pot.
  4. Sprinkle two large pinches of salt
    • There isn’t much other salt in here, so this is an important step (particularly as we used a  low-salt can of tomatoes)
  5. Cover and cook for 45 minutes
  6. Remove from the heat, and mix in the sherry. (Note: this will not cook off the booze, but really adds some great flavor to the final soup!)

Serve with grated pecorino cheese and toast. (Makes about 4 servings)


Thoughts for Next Time:

  • Serve with Cornbread or cornbread muffins (noted as an essential step in Mom’s notes!)
  • Top with parmesan or swiss cheese
  • Double the spices – the current recipe was pleasant, but it wouldn’t hurt to use 1 tablespoon of each
  • Add garlic – mmmm

lentils mon 1



  1. Wow, what an amazing find! Any lentil soup is good in my book, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It has been so fun to read through her notes and thoughts. More coming soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How nice to find this treasure. The soup looks very hearty and tasty. Perfect for winter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it has brought me such joy already, and I know I will continue to find more as I make each recipe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastic treasure your Dad found! This looks great! Will try it this weekend and link you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I’m honored! I hope you enjoy it. And yes, I am so glad that he found and shared such a gem of ideas and family traditions! Thank you for the nice note.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank YOU!! 👍👍👍


  4. This is so beautiful, what a lovely find for you. I adore anything with lentils so I know I am going to enjoy your lentil soup 🙂


  5. […] I noted in my Lentils Monastery post, part of my plans this year with the blog are to cook the recipes that my mother left for me. […]


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