This simple yet hearty lentil stew freezes well and is a winter staple in our house. Depending on who you’re feeding and how adventurous their palettes are we sometimes serve this with baby spinach tossed in at the end or a quickly blanched leafy green like chard. This is also a dish excellent for carrot lovers. You can add chopped carrots in with the onions.
super simple, kid-approved lentil stew
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 shallot sliced
- 2 cups red lentils
- olive oil
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 cups of chicken or veg broth (approximately)
- 1 cup canned plum tomatoes (optional)
- ½ inch of fresh ginger root minced
- juice of ½ lemon
- curry powder
- smoked paprika (optional)
- dash of tamari
- dash of rice vinegar
- salt + pepper
- chopped cilantro
- fried shallots
Start by rinsing your red lentils well.
Heat a nice glug of olive oil in a medium sized soup pot on your stove and add chopped onions, let these sauté for 2 minutes or so, while they absorb some of the olive oil and become translucent. Then add fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin, and curry powder (smoked paprika if you have), stirring to coat everything evenly.
Let these sauté on a medium heat and turn down if anything is getting too brown.
If you are adding tomatoes, do so here.
After about 8 minutes, you can add the 2 cups of rinsed lentils, toss again to coat everything and make sure you use your spoon to get the lentils down in the bottom of the pot. Add the can of coconut milk, stir, and then add enough broth or liquid to cover the lentils completely. It should be about 2 to 2 ½ cups.
Cover and bring to a nice slow simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes.
While your pot of lentils simmers, prep the cilantro and shallots. I fry shallots in either a heated pan of safflower oil or coconut oil. The oil should be hot and glistening when you put the shallots on and you should turn or stir them only once. It should take about 4-5 minutes, remove them from heat and put on a paper towel.
Check on your lentils and stir a few times, let them become mushy and stew like. Make sure you taste your soup and add the salt/pepper and lemon juice at the end. I do add some tamari and a bit of rice vinegar if I taste that it needs a bit more punch. If you are using greens, stir these in at the end, too.
Serve with cilantro and fried shallots on top with warm crusty bread!
Editor’s Note: When I received Angela’s article to review, I knew I wanted to make it before we even published the recipe! But it was a crazy day and I knew we’d be short on time for dinner prep. I threw everything in a crock pot (adding a couple diced carrots) and let it cook on low for eight hours. DELICIOUS. Even the 5-year-old loved her soup. The grown-ups topped ours with a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro. Pat’s comment? “This is a little like chili.” Meatless meal score!