I’m not entirely sure if this is a stew or a soup, so I’ll go with stew. It sounds more comforting and substantial somehow.
Whatever you wish to call it, this warm, belly-filling vegetarian dish is just the kind of food I’m in the mood for as soon as the leaves start to change colour and the night air has a slight nip to it.
I’ve professed my love for legumes before, and lentils happen to be one of my favourites. They’re rich in dietary fibre, high in iron and a worthy stand-in for meat (in other words, a vegetarian’s dream). Broad beans are also a fun addition and provide some textural contrast next to the tiny lentils.
Whenever I cook with beans I almost always use canned, simply for convenience. My pantry’s stocked with different varieties so no matter how rushed a given day is, I always have the ingredients on hand to make a delicious meal in no time. Just be sure to rinse under cold water and strain before using.
Recipe: Lentil and broad bean stew
This stew would also be nice spooned over soft polenta.
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 540-mL can broad beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 540-mL can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 can (about 1 tbsp) tomato paste
- 1 tbsp marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chicken boullion cube
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Create a ‘hot spot’ in the bottom of the pot by pushing vegetables to the side and add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for about a minute until slightly darkened. Stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the beans and lentils, marjoram, bay leaf, bouillon cube and water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Taste, season if needed, and serve with crusty bread on the side.
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