When my son was first weaning, I used to make a meal which was very loosely based on Annabel Karmel's lovely lentils recipe. My son always used to love it and so I thought about making something similar for all of us to serve with sausages.
There are variations below if you're wanting to serve it to a baby. The vegetarian baby version is suitable from 6 months. I would include the garlic even for babies, you'd be surprised how adventurous they can be!
Quantities will vary depending on what version you make but with sausages and without the sweet potato, this amount made enough for two adults and one toddler with broccoli on the side.
Lentils (and Sausages for older ones)
1 Onion, diced small
1 Carrot, diced small
(For baby version, 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced small)
1-2 Garlic cloves chopped finely
A splash of olive oil
75g Green Lentils (e.g. Puy)
1 Bay leaf
A couple of thyme sprigs, chopped
Very low salt stock cube (optional), e.g. Kallo or Heinz
Parsley and Garlic Chives, chopped to serve (optional)
Sausages (for toddler and adult version only) I used some finest lincolnshire chipolatas
Saute the onion, carrot and garlic in the oil until softened. Add some boiling water and the stock cube if using then add the lentils and sweet potato if using. Add in the bay and thyme and boil for 10 minutes. Then simmer until cooked; this takes varying amount of time according to your lentils but mine took a further 35 mins simmering.
While the lentils are simmering or if you're ready to reheat them later, cook some sausages. I bake sausages in the oven as it's the least amount of hassle! Sausages will take 30-40 mins at 200 degrees and chipolatas will take around 30 mins.
Once the lentils are cooked, remove the bay leaf and stir in the parsley and garlic chives if using and serve with the sausages for older children and adults. Note, sausages are a common food for young kids to choke on so do make sure you cut them up well and sit with your child as they eat.
If serving for babies, just take the lentils, remove the bay leaf and add the other herbs if desired and puree (if traditionally weaned). For older babies once they reach the 'soft lump' stage you may find you can serve it as it is.
My son loved this as a baby and still loved it now. He was spooning it into his mouth grinning away! Definitely a hit!
The lentils freeze and reheat well.
Can I encourage you to buy decent sausages? You can get some very good and reasonable sausages in supermarkets nowadays if you don't get time to visit a butcher but I cannot stand a value sausage. All snout, fat and rusk, no flavour! I'm all for a value meal but when you can get a pack of finest sausages for around £2 - £2.50, it's still a cheap meal. Some things just aren't worth scrimping on!