If you are looking for a hearty and healthy stew to eat with your sourdough bread, then this red lentil vegetable stew might be for you! It is perfect for a weeknight meal because it takes less than an hour from start to finish because red lentils cook relatively fast compared to most other types of lentils. This recipe can easily be modified to include other vegetables and spices as well. Squash and sweet potatoes are great additions to this recipe, although they will need to cook a bit longer. I recommend topping this stew with toasted sourdough or sourdough crackers. For sourdough recipes, check out my other posts, such as my Basic Sourdough recipe or Sourdough with Flax and Chia.
This recipe is adapted and inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes. I first tried Smitten Kitchen’s recipe during grad school (until then, I had actually never tried lentils before!) Over the years, I’ve modified the recipe to use red lentils (instead of French green lentils) and different seasonings, as well as added kale. I like to add red pepper flakes when I make this recipe because we enjoy spicy food. However, I suggest omitting them if you are sensitive to spicy foods. I enjoy making this recipe on a Sunday and eating it for easy lunches and dinners during the week. It also freezes well.
The vegetable broth can be substituted with water, although you will likely need to add more salt. I would suggest adding the spices cautiously, then adjusting to your preference. I used canned whole peeled tomatoes, but canned diced tomatoes would work too. Also, this recipe is vegan if you omit the Parmesan cheese.
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Red Lentil Vegetable Stew
- Dutch oven or large pot
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped coarsely
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, chopped coarsley
- 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes such as San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed about 200 g
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ground black pepper (added based on your tastes)
- 2 cups kale, chopped coarsely about 60 g
- 1-2 teaspoons balslamic vinegar
- grated Parmesan for topping optional
- A couple slices of toasted sourdough per person or sourdough crackers optional
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or stew pot over low/medium heat. I used this 4.2 qt Emile Henry Stewpot (which I also use for baking bread).
- Add the chopped onions and carrots. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Then, add the whole peeled tomatoes (with the tomato juice) and lentils. Stir, then add the vegetable broth.
- Add the salt, paprika, red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spicy foods), and ground black pepper.
- Simmer over medium or low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the stew has thickened. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Once the stew has thickened, stir in the chopped kale. Simmer for a few more minutes.
- Then add the balsamic vinegar to taste.
- Serve in bowls and top with the sourdough bread or crackers and Parmesan (optional).
I hope you enjoy this Red Lentil Vegetable Stew! Let us know what you think in the comments!