Lentil cream with caramelized onions and hazelnuts

February is drawing to a close and some of us are clinging to the spoons and rushing into the final gulps of stew season, for what a comfort it is. The stew tastes like home. The full stomach and hot hands from reaching for the plate must activate an animal instinct that tells you “don’t worry about looking for food anymore, you’re safe”. This is how I picture myself in winter, like a bear hugging a pot of kale or chickpeas with cod.

But everything has its time and you have to let go. The sequence of dishes we bring to the table reflects the seasons and the produce available at each time: as a subscriber to my weekly seasonal vegetable basket, I have no choice but to embrace it and cook what I must; As a consolation, we always have the certainty that they will come back. In any case, we won’t overreach, because there’s still time for a bit of slow-cooked chup chup: After months of vegetable stews, a little renovation isn’t too much. In today’s case, the renovation consists of grinding our stew until we get a wonderful lentil cream.

Turning a vegetable stew into a cream does two good things. It retains all of the flavor of the stew and has the creaminess and elegance of a well-made cream. Although you could take the chickpea stew and put it through the blender, this recipe is made so that the end result has the perfect balance of sweetness – caramelized onions in large quantities do their job here – and acidity thanks to hints of sour cream or creme fraiche Cheese (a very little amortized ingredient in our kitchens). Spices and toasted hazelnuts in a buttery finish add the final touch of flavor and crunch.

When cooking the lentils, we’re going to overdo it a bit: we want a lot of creaminess, so the lentil should be very soft, almost undone. In this way we do not find any hard parts or loose skins when sanding. Another trick: when we grind the cream, we can finally add a dash of extra virgin olive oil while you continue grinding, it helps emulsify and leaves our recipe at a velvety level. And a shortcut: if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to wait, you can take lentils out of the can and boil them with the sauce and water for about ten minutes before grinding. If you leave it in the fridge overnight you will hardly notice the difference.


none. If so, wait patiently for the lentils and onions to cook.


  • 4 large onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 200 g Pardina lentils
  • ½ level tablespoon ground cumin
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Modena vinegar
  • hazelnuts
  • a tablespoon of butter
  • About 150g sour cream creme fraiche Cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Finely julienne the onions – into strips – and cut the carrot into small cubes.

  2. In a large saucepan, add a good stream of oil, onion, carrot, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until onion is almost caramelized, about 30 minutes to prevent sticking.

  3. Add the vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes. Reserve some of the caramelized onion for garnishing.

  4. Cover up to four fingertips over the lentils with water.

  5. Add cumin, ground black pepper and salt to taste and stir well.

  6. Cook for an hour and a half (30 minutes in a pressure cooker) or until the lentils are tender.

  7. Mix and add more water if needed. Add olive oil at the end in the form of a thread while continuing to grind.

  8. adjust salt.

  9. Melt the butter in a pan and toast the chopped hazelnuts. Serve the cream hot with a dollop of cold sour cream and the buttered toasted hazelnuts.

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