Warm Up With a Simple and Hearty Lentil Stew

Warm Up With a Simple and Hearty Lentil Stew

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Lentil stew

Brrr… When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing more satisfying and belly-warming than a big bowl of steaming hot stew. Here’s a nutritious and delicious lentil stew, which always leaves my two sons and my husband licking their bowls and asking for more.

There are so many ways to customize this dish: make it vegetarian, add sausages for meat lovers, add more bouillon to make it a thinner soup, or more lentils and veggies to make it thicker. Any way you spin it, this is a destined to become a favorite, simple, one-pot dinner to make, even on a busy weeknight.

Tip for busy cooks: make a big pot and refrigerate or freeze leftovers to zap in the microwave for a quick meal another day!

Lentil stew

Ingredients (for about 6 dinner servings):

  • 350 grams dried lentils (can be brown or green)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow or white onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 850ml (1-1/2 pints) of hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 400g can of peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • sprig of fresh or dried rosemary
  • sprig of fresh or dried thyme
  • 5-6 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • salt to taste

(use these quantities as a guideline, but you can really customize as you wish!)

For meaty version:

add 130g packet of cubed pancetta, bacon or allumettes fumé and/or 4-6 good quality sausages

Method:

  1. Rinse and drain lentils.
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  1. (skip this step for vegetarian version) Brown the pancetta, bacon or allumettes. If using sausages, brown the sausages. Scoop meat out onto a plate.
  1. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.
  1. (skip this step for vegetarian version) Add the meat back into the pot.
  1. Add lentils, stock, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, paprika, rosemary, thyme, and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.
  1. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste. Serve into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley on top.

Other serving ideas:

  • Stir in some chopped spinach at the end, just until the spinach is wilted, before serving
  • Garnish with grated Parmesan shavings
  • Serve with Quinoa as a side dish
  • Serve with a salad on the side

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