The secret is in the combination of spices used! This yields a really flavorful Lentil Stew that makes a nutritious vegetarian or vegan dinner. Enjoy as is or pair with some crusty bread, cornbread or rice. This is one yumminess you'll need to make over and over again.
¼teaspoonred pepper flakesfor a little heat, optional
15ozcrushed tomato (425g)
2cupslentils (400g)picked over and rinsed
6cupsvegetable broth or stockor chicken/beef stock. Sub with enough bouillon cubes and water to make 6 cups.
2dried bay leaves
¼teaspoonground black pepper
Chopped green onions and fresh parsleyfor garnish
Warm bread or hot rice to serve
Place a large pot on medium heat. Add oil and heat up for 2 minutes. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the chopped carrots and celery. Cook for about 7 minutes until softened.
Add the cumin, smoked paprika, curry powder and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir and let them cook for 2 minutes with the carrots, celery and onions while stirring so the flavors can bloom.
Add the rinsed lentils, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth or stock, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Remove the scum on the surface of the stew and discard.
Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 30-35 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid has greatly reduced. Add more liquid to the pot if desired (I add a little more broth at this point).
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add a little more salt/pepper if you like.
Squeeze in lemon juice and stir to combine just before serving. Garnish with parsley and green onions if desired and serve as is or with arm crusty bread, cornbread or hot fluffy rice.
This recipe works well with green or brown lentils. Avoid red lentils as they will easily disintegrate.Store lentil stew in the fridge for up to 5 days or keep in the freezer for up to 4-5 months.