Why do we eat lentils at Christmas and New Year?

Versatile and healthy.  lentil
Versatile and healthy. lenses dpa

Our family always has a great deal of lentil soup on the table for lunch on Christmas Eve. Together with French fries, or Schnipperla, as they are called in Thuringia, where our tradition originated, this makes for a very tasty lunch. Because they are so good, they reappear exactly a week later on the last day of the year. But why do we actually eat lentils on Christmas or New Year’s Eve? “So that you always have a lot of small change in your wallet,” was the explanation to me as a kid. The custom is also known elsewhere.

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It is said that lentils and peas bring change

In the Ur mountains, for example, lentils are found as part of Ninirla. Neunerlei, which is traditionally served at Christmas. Each of the nine components of the dish has its significance. Lentils and dumplings are always included. The remaining seven dishes may vary. Meat and sausage promise luck, strength and prosperity. Legumes like lentils, peas, or millet bring simple change into the home. Dumplings earn a lot of money. But only if you do not calculate them or derive an odd number. The celery in the celery salad represents potency and fertility.

Lentils in Italy

And in Italy, too, people are after windfalls and eat lentils – “lentils” with sausage – on New Year’s Eve. The custom stems from the fact that people used to give up a bag full of lentils on the last day of the year. Hoping that many small lenses will turn into money.

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The classic Christmas in Italy is

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The classic Christmas in Italy is “Cotechino with lentils”. Boiled sausage filled with minced pork.

So the relationship between lenses and money is outdated. In the Old Testament, Esau sells his birthright to his brother Jacob in exchange for a plate of lentils. Cinderella must sort the lentils. Vegetarians estimate them to contain 25 to 30 percent protein. Lentils were and still are a typical winter meal, in the past because nothing fresh was available, simply because it tasted delicious.

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In the Czech Republic, lentils are eaten on January 1 to ensure enough money for the New Year. In Hungary people know the New Year’s lentil dish. “Hoppin’ John” black-eyed pea soup is popular in America. By the way, in Scandinavia people eat herring, which is reminiscent of silver. In France and Spain, there is a well-known custom of eating twelve grapes in the middle of the night.

Recipe from the mountains of ore

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people Lentil Soup
You need a handful of vegetable soup, 500 grams of lentils, 300 grams of potatoes, 2 onions, grams of onions, 1 ring of hanging sausage, 2 liters of water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, • 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar extract Salt and freshly ground pepper

And this is how it works: Without soaking them first, cook lentils with vegetable broth and a pinch of salt until tender. Depending on the type of lens, this takes anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the separately diced potatoes with a little water and salt until soft. Cut the sausage into rings and fry. When enough fat is drained, add the onion cut into rings and fry, stirring constantly, until glassy and soft. Add finely chopped garlic.

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Lentils taste sweet and sour

Add four tablespoons of sugar and stir. Remove the coarse vegetables from the boiled lentils and add the potatoes with the cooking water, sausage and onion mixture. Stir well and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar extract. Stir and taste! Add sugar and salt. A pinch of ground pepper complements the soup. Soup tastes better when heated!

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