Lentil Stew

Lentil stew is one of my favorite winter meals.  It’s fast, nutritious, flexible, and comforting on a cold winter night.  It can also be made with local ingredients if you feel so inclined, since the vegetables included are all root vegetables that can be found at a winter farmer’s market.  The stew freezes well, so it’s great to make a massive pot of it and then freeze individual portions so that you can have easy lunches to take to work!  Quick note:  I tend to add a rather large amount of garlic to winter meals – it’s great for the immune system!  Feel free to cut down on the garlic if you plan on locking lips with anyone immediately after you consume this, or if you would prefer not to ward off vampires (since lately everyone seems to be obsessed with them).

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 large carrots, quartered and sliced
8 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups red lentils

Instructions:

1.  Sauté onion and garlic together in a bit of EVOO until soft, about 5 minutes.
2.  Add the broth, and then add the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, and then cover and turn the heat down to medium.  Cook until the vegetables are tender.
3.  Add lentils, and cook until the lentils have absorbed the liquid and are cooked through.  This will be very quick – about 10 minutes or so.  Stir the stew occasionally while the lentils are cooking, since it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot easily.
4.  Add salt and pepper to taste – I find that the bouillon that I use for the broth usually flavors the stew enough, but go ahead and add some seasonings if it needs a bit more oomph.

Variations:

  • Add some kale to get some winter green nutrients in here.  Chop it into small pieces and add it about halfway through the cooking time of the vegetables.
  • Add protein – chicken sausage, tofu, or whatever your little heart desires.  I’m not sure red meat would taste so great in this, but I’ve never tried, so let me know if it works!
  • Use green or brown lentils instead of red.  Make sure to soak them before adding them to the stew (for at least a couple of hours).  Taste the stew once the lentils have absorbed the liquid, and if they’re still not cooked through, add some more broth and keep cooking them.  The great thing about red lentils is that they cook obscenely quickly.
  • Add hot sauce if you like to spice things up a bit.
  • Do all of the above.

IMG_7074

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply