This German Lentil Stew recipe is often referred to as Linsen, Spaetzle Saiten. This is a classic recipe from Swabia. Not only can you find Lentil Stew, Spaetzle and Saiten on many menus in southwest Germany, it is easy to make at home.
You can buy Spaetzle in many grocery stores nowadays but be sure to make the flour-thickened lentil stew flavored with vinegar yourself.
Spaetzle is little drop noodles made with eggs and flour. See step by step instructions here.
Saiten, also known as Wiener Würstchen or Frankfurter Würstel is a finely ground, thin Brühwurst or sausage which is cooked in broth or water right after it is stuffed. It can be pork, a pork and beef mixture or just beef (like kosher hot dogs). It contains spices, nitrates, and salt as well. You can also choose hot dogs or Knackwurst to complete this meal.
Makes 4 to 6 servings German Lentil Stew
- 2 cups/400 grams brown lentils (rinsed)
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 2 ounces bacon or Bauchspeck (cut into small dice)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot (peeled and cut into small dice)
- 1/2 leek (finely chopped)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 to 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Wash the lentils under cold water in a sieve, then pick them over and remove any debris.
- Place the lentils in a pot and cover with water. Add the two bay leaves and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are soft, but not until they fall apart. Make sure the lentils are always covered with water.
- Brown the bacon pieces in a hot pan. Add the onion, carrot, and leek, and cook the bacon until onion is translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring until it takes on a golden brown color. Pour the broth over the flour, stirring constantly to make a roux.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the bacon and vegetables. Add the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Make sure that everything is well mixed and heat for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve a nice portion of lentils on the same plate with fresh Spaetzle and Frankfurters, hot dogs or Saiten which have been thoroughly heated in simmering water or even grilled.
- You may also cook the lentils with smoked meat, then serve the meat with the meal. Another variation is to use red wine instead of broth. If you do that, go easy on the vinegar.