Sunday, September 27, 2009

Simple Lentil Stew

Lentils over Kamut pasta with Japanese sweet potato and zucchini

Simple Lentil Stew

1 cup celery, thinly chopped
1 cup carrot, large dice
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 large bay leaf
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
pinch of red chili flakes to taste
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups French green lentils, dry
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups veggie broth of choice
salt and pepper to taste

French Green Lentils

Sweat off the celery, carrots, onion, garlic and herbs (don't add the parsley yet) in the olive oil. When the veggies are beginning to soften and a lovely aroma of onion and garlic emerge, rinse the lentils inwater and toss them into the mixture. Stir for a minute or so to combine all the flavors. Add the tomatoes and veggie broth, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and allow to cook for ~ 1 hour until lentils are tender. About halfway through cooking, toss in the parsley. I usually take out the bay leaf at this time too, because I don't like a really strong bay flavor. Salt and pepper to taste.

This gets better the longer it cooks, and even better the next day. I add the cumin to give it a "meaty" dimension that my husband likes (or at least that's how he interprets it). If you are going to cook this down for a while, a nice slosh of red wine tossed in towards the end wouldn't go astray.

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