Lentil and Kale Vegetable Stew

2011-03-01

Lentil Kale Vegetable Stew

Winter is still upon us and a good stew is always a pleasure this time of the year. In a recent issue of Bon Appetit a vegetable stew appeared similar to this recipe and I thought it would be worth experimenting with a vegetable stew. I am happy to say that this recipe was a success and I am sure the original version is just as good. It is hearty with better flavor than I expected and makes for a great meal with a good slice of bread on the side.

Kale is something I tried to grow this past fall until some very hungry cabbage worms or something similar devastated the crop while I was not looking. My goal was to see if growing it in my own garden would make it more appealing to incorporate in my cooking. This weekend I noticed some new kale sprouts trying to grow and realized we may have a spring crop so it was time to go ahead and cook with some of this leafy coarse vegetable. Based on the success of this recipe, I will continue to search for some new recipes with this vitamin rich green.

After chopping up the vegetables the overall process was as simple as most soups. The only challenge I came across was when I incorporated the kale. Mixing it into the stew brought some of the lentils up to top and there was some concern about them not getting cooked. I recommend you just add some additional broth or water to ensure adequate coverage in the pot so you don’t crunch into a very firm lentil.

This is a great recipe to incorporate as your once a week vegetarian meal. Enjoy.

RECIPE

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots (8 to 9 ounces), peeled, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
3 medium parsnips peeled, chopped (1 cups)
1 medium rutabaga, peeled, chopped (2 cups)
1 pound brown lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon garlic salt
10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 large bunch kale (about 9 ounces), ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in large pot over high heat. Add onion and the next 3 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in lentils, herbes de Provence and garlic salt. Add broth and kale. Bring to boil, stirring to incorporate kale but avoid bringing lentil out of the broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with lid slightly ajar. Simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Note that for a vegetarian recipe use the vegetable broth.

Inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe March 2011

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