Lentil Stew

This is a great recipe for dinner on a fall evening.  It is easy, healthy and delicious.  Lentils are so good for you – they are high in fiber, folic acid (which is good for your heart), high in fiber and help to stabilize your blood sugar (which will make you feel fuller longer).  I love cooking soups and stews, we eat the dish for a few nights and freeze the rest for dinner in a few weeks!

When I get home from work each night, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen on dinner.  So I try to prep meals a little at a time, for instance with this dish I chopped all my veggies the night before.  That saved me about 15 minutes and I was able to get dinner cooking right when I got home.

I used both red and green lentils.  The red (also called French lentils) are much smaller and not as dense.  This was a great combo for this soup and turned into more of a stew, as the red lentils broke down and made the base nice and thick.  This is a vegetarian dish (it does have chicken stock, but that can easily be substituted with vegetable stock), but since lentils are so packed full of protein – you won’t miss the meat!  I have found that a lot of vegetarian dishes are very hearty and try to go meatless a few nights a week.  Check out this blog – Love & Lentils –  for some more delish vegetarian dishes.

I hope you like this easy and tasty lentil soup!  I know my husband did!!

Enjoy! ~Jamie

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
4 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
1) In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
2) Stir in lentils, and add water, stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition – Calories: 349 | Total Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 0mg

//