Are you in the mood for some comfort food?
This easy healthy recipe for lentil stew is one of those dishes I start to crave the moment the air starts turning the slightest bit chilly. Hearty, full of flavour, and meatless so I don’t have to worry about thawing or buying meat.
I usually like to soak my lentils overnight before cooking, but this recipe can be prepared without taking that extra step.
I personally prefer this recipe as a proper stew with a dollop of sour cream or good quality ketchup, but sometimes, I put the lentils and veggies (without any broth) on buns for a vegetarian sloppy joe for the kids. (Or you can use it as a taco filling or nacho topping like Crystal and Comp. did for her kids.)
And if I do have some meat ready to go, I will braise it in the leftover broth from the lentil stew, chop it up and mix it in to the stew for an extra dose of protein.
This is a frugal, healthy meal that you can improvise with – using whatever you have on hand. I’ve never tried swapping out the lentils, but I’ve used different vegetable combinations, skipped the wine on days when I have none in the house, and experimented with the seasonings.
But, this recipe is my standard. It was inspired by a “Lentil Pie” recipe (served with peas and possibly potatoes) in Sophie Dahl’s cookbook, Volumptuous Delights. One of my favourite “cooking by the season” type cookbooks.
- 2 cups French lentils (Puy or DuPuy)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1-18oz can whole tomatoes with juice
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
- 3 bay leaves
- Cayenne or paprika, to taste
- Place the lentils in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft.
- Add carrots, cook 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, celery, red wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and cayenne - if using. Cook together for 5 minutes, and then add the lentils.
- Cook 5 more minutes to marry all of the flavors, and then serve hot.
I’m curious, what are your go-to comfort foods when the air turns a bit chilly?
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If you’re looking for more vegetarian comfort meals, check out HEN Family’s collection of Vegetarian Freezer Meals.