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!
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
- Rinse and drain lentils.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- (skip this step for vegetarian version) Brown the pancetta, bacon or allumettes. If using sausages, brown the sausages. Scoop meat out onto a plate.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.
- (skip this step for vegetarian version) Add the meat back into the pot.
- 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.
- 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