recipes

Rich and hearty lentil stew

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Winter is coming…will we ever start another cold season without those words? Heads up to George R.R. Martin challengers – your success hinges on a memeable one-liner that transcends internet cultures…go!

Anyway, I don’t know what the characters of Game of Thrones ate during their endless winter, but I’m fairly certain it wasn’t lentil stew. Which is a shame, because this is damn delish.

Since my efforts to go more plant based, I’ve been eating a lot of lentils. I thought I’d get sick of them fast, but actually the humble lentil is a very versatile, amateur cook-friendly ingredient that’s both cheap and easily stretched, so a little really goes a long way.

Lentils contain 9g of protein per 100g  which is twice the amount as wonder grain quinoa, however lentils don’t contain all the amino acids while quinoa does, making it a complete protein. To get your complete protein fix from lentils, pair them with a wholegrain such as brown rice.  Lentils also give you 20g of carbs per 100g. These are slow release aka complex carbs which give you sustained energy over a long time. They are also very high in fibre and iron while being low in calories with virtually no fat. Sold? Good! Make this lentil stew – it’s rich and meaty-tasting and goes down a storm on a cold winter’s evening like last night. And, of course, it’s vegan.

Rich and hearty lentil stew

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 2 can chopped and peeled tomatoes
  • A healthy splash of red wine (I’m very heavy handed, it’s highly recommended)
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 6 finely chopped small carrots
  • 3-4 finely chopped baby marrows
  • 4 tsp garlic
  • Fresh chopped chilli to taste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 palm-size handful fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme and sage)
  • 3-4 tbsp soya sauce (optional but I like the salty, meaty flavour it adds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Saute onion, garlic, carrot and baby marrow in a large pot and cook until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add spices, herbs and chilli and mix through.
  3. Add tomatoes, stock, wine and lentils and stir to combine. Bring to a boil on high heat and immediately reduce the heat to low. Simmer til lentils are tender but not mushy – approximately 45 minutes. Add more stock or water if the stew becomes too thick.
  4. Serve hot in front of a toasty fire with red wine!

Tip: Legumes, like meat, absorb bags of flavour during cooking and are often tastier the next day. If you let the stew sit for a couple of hours or even overnight before eating, it’s even more delicious. Can’t wait? No problem! I ate mine as soon as it was finished and had more the next day – both were yum.

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