Yes, I know my title is corny and rhymes, but just go with it! I was a little bored on Friday because there was a snow day and I was itching to get out of the house and work for a few hours. I had been sick for a full week and the whole at-home-doing-nothing-thing was getting a little old. I decided since I couldn’t really go anywhere I had to have some sort of unique experience…enter, lentil stew! I have had a bag of lentils from Whole Foods sitting in my pantry for months now and have been afraid to use them. I had no idea now I wanted to eat them or what to do with them. I have been in a real soup mood so I decided that a lentil stew was a good way to go. I had been bookmarking a bunch of lentil soup recipes but none of them were exactly what I wanted so I decided to go with my own. So here goes, the inspiration came from this can (also sitting in my pantry for months):
I had tried this as a sample at Trader Joe’s a few months ago. I liked it but I was not a huge fan of it having a tomato based broth. After working with Lindsay for a few months and talking about digestive issues I learned that tomatoes and beans are not always the best combo for a sensitive tummy. I also learned from Lindsay that I needed to soak my lentils a bit first, so into the pot they went about an hour before the soup started going:
So I began making a recipe and got cooking, starting with 3 carrots:
I then added my mirepoix and got things cooking down
I love mushrooms of all kinds in my meals but baby portobella’s are definitely a great one. They have a really meaty and hearty flavor and hold up great in soups! They went into the pot and simmered down and released their liquid. While they were cooking I made a last minute decision that the soup needed something a little more to make it thicker and more stew-like:
Red-bliss potatoes are a great addition to soups. They have a flavor, especially with the skin left on, that can hold up to stronger flavors in a soup. I was a little worried that I threw the potatoes in too late, but I just kept going, adding the lentils, broth, salt, pepper, kombu (helps digestion), and bay leaf and bringing the pot to a boil. Once the stew came to a boil I allowed it to sit and simmer for about an hour.
My very first Lentil Stew! It was great, rich and heart but healthy, too. I used green lentils which are a little chewier but I liked how they gave the soup something meaty, without the meat (many recipes called for sausage but I’m not a fan). I seriously recommend this recipe over and over to people who are looking to try a lentil soup without the digestive upset 🙂
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
½ medium onion, chopped fine
½ lb. mushrooms, chopped (I used baby portabella’s)
1 cup lentils, rinsed and soaked
2 small red bliss potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (TJ’s low sodium)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 inch piece of kombu
1 bay leaf
In a heavy soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until onions are translucent about 6-10 minutes. Next add mushrooms and cook down until they have become tender and released their liquid. Add the potato an stir, allow to cook for another 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, kombu, salt and pepper; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 45-60 minutes. Serve with a nice piece of whole grain crust bread or a serving of brown rice or your grain of choice. Enjoy!
That’s all for this evening, I’m laying low and staying warm tonight, it’s in the single digits here! Hoping to get a good nights sleep and an early workout in tomorrow 🙂
Have a great night everyone!
lots of love,