Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lentil Stew

This approach to lentil stew was first introduced to me from a great book I picked up on clearance at Boarders years ago called 'Soups and Breads' distributed by Bay Books. I have a few steady variations from their take so I feel confident in sharing this recipe as my own. There are so many ways to make this soup... all you absolutely need are the onions, garlic, lentils and water. All the other ingredients can be either left out or substituted. I have made about fourty pots of this stew since I discovered it was a family favorite a few years ago.    

Lentil Stew served with grated parmesan and parsley flakes
 Lentil Stew
serves 8-10

1/4 cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
8 oz bacon, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin/rough chop
3 carrots, peeled and chopped 
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
6-8oz (half a bag) lentils (brown, red or green) RINSED
4 cups broth (can be substituted for water)
4 cups water
10 oz small pasta, such as risotto or alphabets
2 more cups water
2 Tbsp lemon zest

grated parmesan and fresh or dry parsley as a garnish when served. 

In a large soup pot saute the onions, bacon and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are tender. Add the carrots, celery and parsnips and saute these until tender. Stir in the rinsed lentils. Gradually add the water and stir frequently. Bring this to the boil and lower the heat to keep on a simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and falling apart. Then add the pasta and extra 2 cups water. The pasta should cook in about ten minutes. Then stir in the lemon zest and take it off the heat... it's done! My favorite way to serve this up is in a low bowl with a bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley. A slice of homemade whole wheat bread and butter is the perfect side.
Lentil Stew

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