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The small, speckled green legumes known as Le Puy lentils—usually labeled French lentils—have a subtle taste and can be counted on to hold their shape. They are sold in natural food stores and gourmet shops. For a flavor boost, stir in fresh thyme leaves just before serving and top each serving with chopped fennel fronds.
In heavy 5- to 6-quart pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until mushrooms are browned, 7 minutes.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add leeks, garlic, herbs and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring often, until leeks soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine and cook until almost all is evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add broth, lentils and fennel, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and gently boil until lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. About halfway through cooking time, taste and add more herbs if necessary. Stir in olives. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
Add salt to taste, lemon peel and Balsamic Syrup. Serve in shallow soup bowls. Garnish with fennel fronds
- Calories 263
- Carbohydrate Content 27 g
- Cholesterol Content 0 mg
- Fat Content 6 g
- Fiber Content 7 g
- Protein Content 13 g
- Saturated Fat Content 1 g
- Sodium Content 248 mg
- Sugar Content 0 g