16 February 2011

lentil stew

this recipe comes from a friend from new orleans.  i remember going into her home and smelling the most wonderful aroma.  at the time, their home was being completely renovated because of the damage it sustained from hurricane katrina.  her "kitchen” was actually her bathroom and in it she had a crockpot with the most delectable lentil dish simmering away.  and get this all you mormon  moms...not only was it delicious, it was made from all food storage ingredients.  i have included the food storage recipe and then my version of lentils made with fresh ingredients.  the lentils are warm and go great with a buttered slice of french bread, or better yet, a ciabatta roll---it's spongy with air pockets in it---perfect to soak up the lentils.

i am so thankful for the recipes i get from friends that i get to carry around with me from home to home as we move around.  they are some of my most treasured items.  they bring back memories of not only good food, but the special moments when i gathered with these life-long friends.  and what says comfort more than a bowl of warm lentils?  if you haven't already noticed, i love lentils.  but i love the friends with whom i get to share recipes more than anything.  

original recipe:

1 lb. dry lentils, wash and remove all odd ones
1/2 cup dried onions
1/2 cup dried carrots
water to cover, plus more if needed
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 small can diced tomatoes

mix in large stock pot.  simmer approximately 1 hour.

my fresh version:

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 carrots, peeled and cut into discs
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 lb. dry lentils, wash and remove all odd ones 
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained  
3 cans chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
water, start with 3 cups, but you'll probably need more
2 drops red Tabasco
sprinkle of dried curry powder (start with just a bit and work up to more, if needed)
black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

in a large stock pot (lentils grow, so make sure the pot is big enough!) heat olive oil and saute onion and carrots about 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.  add thyme and rosemary and cook until aromatic.  add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  let  simmer covered on medium-low, stirring occasionally.  add more water, if needed, as the lentils cook-for at least one hour for firm lentils or at least 3 hours for softer lentils (my preference.)  lentils absorb a lot of water, especially after sitting.  don't be afraid to add too much water.  if you do, just take the lid off and cook longer.   

this recipe works great in the crockpot, too.  i would still saute the onions and carrots and then add them to the crockpot with all the other ingredients.  let cook on low for 8-10 hrs or high for 6 hours.  make sure to add enough water to generously cover (about 6 cups).

1 comment:

  1. big fan of lentil soup/stew. i haven't tried it with curry powder, sounds delish. my version includes a splash of good balsamic vinegar with each serving. so yummy.