Simple Lentil Stew
Last week brought the first real cold front we’ve had in Florida this year, and I loved it. I got to eat breakfast in my mom’s old wool robe, and whenever I crossed the doorstep I was exuberantly primed with my boots, sweater, fleece jacket and fluffy bright orange scarf. Cold weather is exciting as long as it doesn’t last more than a few weeks. Beyond that, I start daydreaming about picnics and carefree bike rides in shorts and a tank top.
When temperatures drop below sixty, I find few foods more satisfying than lentils. A simple stew like this one is easy to make, hearty and most importantly,very tasty. Make some and have yourself a warm bowl, or make a large batch and have many meals taken care of.
LENTIL STEW RECIPE
Yield: 4 SERVINGS
Prep Time: 10 MIN
Cook Time: 55 MIN
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable or beef stock
5 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Heat the olive oil and tomato paste in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the celery and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.
Serve the stew warm. Top it with a dollop of yogurt, some olive oil and minced celery leaves, if you wish.