cooking lentils separately + adding celery first to a soffritto
two questions really rather than topics.
firstly, as i am a one pot wonder i always chuck my lentils in with other ingredients and then add stock / water and cook them in situ. many recipes advise cooking lentils separately in water or stock AND then adding to your final dish.
i dont really see why i should cook them separately.
also whenever i see recipes calling for a soffritto - celery, carrot, onion, garlic the onion seems to be added first but surely its celery then carrot then onion and finally garlic as thats the order in which they soften.
I made a lentil soup last night that started with diced onions, carrots and celery. Those were added first to sweat before lentils and chopped tomatoes were added. The only reason to add them first was to soften them or if you wanted to caramelize the first ingredients. Lentils cook so easily that you don't have to be so concerned with the acid of tomatoes like when cooking other legumes.
I guess it depends on the recipe, but for most lentil dishes I just add them to the main pot. Then again, I usually use them to make soup or stew-type dishes that are hard to mess up. But I'm generally against using an extra pot if I don't have to.
As to soffrito, I usually add onion, carrot, and celery together, and then garlic later, if it's needed. The difference seems so small that I can't get worked up about it. It's not like you'll really notice the texture of the soffrito in the finished dish.