I think you will find it strange, because I definitely find it strange that my 9-year old sometimes begs me to cook lentils (and zucchini, but that is another post). When he goes through his I-need-healthy-food moments, he asks me to cook zucchini, lentils or broccoli rabe with pasta alternately. Being a Mom, receiving such requests from a child comes out like a whack on my head for feeling like I am neglecting his nutritional needs. I mean, isn't it usually the other way around? Don't we usually beg the kids to eat their vegetables? And when I do cook one of his three favorites and he spots them in the saucepan quietly sizzling, he reacts with such enthusiasm that can make any fast food marketing pro scratch his chin and wonder where he went wrong with this boy. Yes, he jumps for joy when lentils are cooking.
In spite of my son's incredible love for lentils, he only likes them cooked simply with carrots, celery and vegetable broth. Sometimes, I add some pancetta or sometimes I also pour a bit of wine which he doesn't really mind as long as he deems them acceptable. Initially, he didn't think that adding chestnuts was something he would like but after trying it, I had a convert at home.
My husband and I love it much more than the usual way I cook the lentils because the chestnuts lend a lightly sweet flavor that makes the overall flavor of the dish rounder and much more delicious. Cooking lentils and chestnuts together is common practice in the Italian region of Abruzzo where the best lentils in the country are grown. When I tried it there for the first time, I couldn't think of making lentil soups without chestnuts anymore but since chestnuts are seasonal, I savor the moments when they start popping out again.
If you are interested in my Lentil and Roasted Chestnut Soup recipe, go to She Knows, a site where I develop recipes. You can also see more of my recipes at my Profile Page there. Buon appetito and enjoy the rest of your week!