Continental lentils are also known as green lentils and not to be confused with lentilles vertes (puy lentils). They are very adaptable, as here where they blend well with the more subtle flavoured fennel.
Rinse the lentils and soak in cold water for two or three hours. The cooking time should then be between twenty and thirty minutes. If the lentils are not soaked, they will probably take about forty minutes to cook.
1 medium sized bulb of fennel, stems and bottom trimmed, cut into small pieces
1 large field mushroom, peeled, destalked, chopped
Continental lentils, 225g (8oz) cooked weight, or the drained and rinsed contents of one 400g tin
Fresh parsley, a generous handful, chopped
Salt and pepper
Stock made with the lentil water
Fry the fennel gently in fat or oil (my choice would be olive oil and a knob of butter), until the fennel begins to soften, taking care that it doesn't burn. Add the mushrooms. Fry together with the fennel for a couple of minutes. Then stir in the lentils, parsley and seasoning. Cover with stock and simmer for about ten minutes until there is very little liquid left. Leave to cool for a moment and blend, adding extra liquid if needed. Pot. Chill in the fridge before using. Freezes well.