Lentil and Potato Stew

October 30, 2017

Hi I'm back! I was sick for a solid two weeks, longer than I have been in my whole adult life up to this point. I'm blaming one of my yoga students who just started university. Yesterday was my first day back to my regular work schedule with recipe development and I'm happy to be busy again - I spent a lot of time on the couch binge-watching Great British Bake Off (the new hosts are a million times better, btw. Noel Fielding is perfection personified). We also had the time change yesterday so taking pictures of dinner is officially over for the season.

I realized after making this stew the first couple of times that it's essentially my omi's lentil soup, one of the few things she cooks. Omi has a small handful of recipes that she makes on rotation. Apple cake, lentil soup, muesli, potatoes/peas/carrots, and sometimes cheesecake. She doesn't like cookbooks and always says that she likes to cook, but only things she already knows how to make, hah. Her lentil soup is pretty good but I think this one is better. Omi doesn't speak english so I can be pretty positive that she'll never know that I said that.

This is another recipe that's a great staple meal using what you likely have on hand. I like to soak brown lentils with my other legumes when I do a big batch cook on the weekend, and freeze them soaked instead of cooking the lentils (I do the same for red lentils) so they're easy to add to soups and stews instead of being too mushy. Otherwise, potatoes, carrots, and some kind of green - spinach, rucola, kale, chard, whatever. I've made this a few times with frozen spinach because I always have some in the freezer, but I prefer it with the bigger pieces instead of finely chopped greens. You can leave the herbs out if you don't have any or don't want to buy a whole bundle for such a small amount . I have made it without herbs when I haven't wanted to go out in the rain to cut any, but they really do improve the dish. If you're not too keen on eating so many potatoes, you can switch the carrot/potato amounts and use more carrots and less potatoes. In these pictures I peeled the potatoes because they were a little green. I wouldn't peel them otherwise, because the most nutritious part is the skin. Try to use organic if you can as potatoes are one of the most heavily contaminated crops in conventional agriculture. 



Lentil and Potato Stew
Serves four

1 tablespoon oil (olive, sunflower, coconut)
1 medium white onion, chopped
500 grams / 2 cups potatoes, cut into 2cm pieces
250 grams / 1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1 cm slices
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped*
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
750 ml / 3 cups water
1 cup brown lentils, soaked if possible*
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or honey*
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
70 grams / 3 cups rucola or other greens*

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until softened and fragrant. Stir in the potatoes and carrots and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally, to brown slightly. Add the garlic and rosemary, cook for an additional minute, then add the spices and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the pot and stir, then the water. 

Increase the heat to high and bring the stew to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the coconut sugar, mustard, thyme, and greens. Serve hot and keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. The stew will thicken slightly as it sits.

Tips:
• The pot might get a bit brown on the bottom from the starch in the potatoes. Adding the vinegar should help lift it, but otherwise the broth will incorporate it and you'll end up with a more flavourful stew. Don't worry about it unless it's starting to burn, and then just reduce the heat.

Notes:
1. The herbs are sort of optional, but I recommend using them. They brighten everything up a bit.
2. Try to soak the lentils for 24 hours, but use dried and rinsed in a pinch. They'll take a bit longer to cook if they're not soaked.
3. Yes, you need to add a little sweetener. The stew tastes off without it.
3. As I mentioned above, you can also use frozen greens. If you do, stir them in and then turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner to thaw the greens.

8 comments on "Lentil and Potato Stew"
  1. I like how chunky this soup is! Those chunks of potatoes, and the greens, just add character to it. Lentils are amazing, and we often incorporate them in our meals. Sorry to hear you were not feeling well, also here flu season is in full bloom. Soups like this one, are a great help!

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    1. It's definitely a winter meal! I agree, soup should be eaten every day when you're sick :)

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  2. I had lentil soup 3 times this week, and I'm still salivating looking at yours. haha It's just so good, and I love potatoes too, so this is a great combo. Too funny about your grandma... Good thing she doesn't speak English! ;)

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    1. Haha I love lentil soup just as much! Then my mom posted on Facebook in German, but I don't think my Omi saw it ;) one can hope!

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  3. I really love the look of this soup. I love lentil soup and Have been making lots of them, too and yours with potatoes is one that I need to try! Glad you're feeling better!

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    1. The potatoes are so good in this, it would be a bit thin and boring without them! Thank you :)

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  4. This is EXACTLY what I need this week! It's freezing cold here in Calgary, we just got our first huge snowfall and I have such a busy week ahead. I'm headed out to grab the ingredients tomorrow and I pinned the recipe. Thanks for another beautiful dish!

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    1. I saw that you guys had 40cm or something like that! Benefits of living near the mountains, eh? I think they only got about 20cm back home but still. It's still fall here, leaves are on the trees. Let me know how it goes!

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