Basic-est Lentils

In a medium saucepan, combine:
1 cup of lentils
Cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch
1/2 small onion studded with
Five whole cloves (if you have them)
1-2 bay leaves
Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat – it should simmer, but not really boil hard. Don’t cover the pan, as it will tend to boil over.  Cook for about 15 minutes and then check for doneness – you may need 5-10 more minutes, depending on the lentils you use.  Once they are to your liking, drain, and add salt and pepper to taste (the salt allegedly causes the lentils to turn tough if you add it to the cooking liquid).  Do taste the lentils for seasoning before you serve them; one spoonful of their magical, earthy flavor, perfumed with bay & cloves, enhanced with salt, and you will be hooked.  I promise.  Just try them.

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