This healthy lentil and potato stew is full of comfort food goodness and seasonal ingredients, like carrots, greens, and wintery herbs. This lightened up, vegan stew is great for cold weather, quick & easy, and very budget friendly.
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.
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Lentil and Potato Stew
- 1 tablespoon oil olive, sunflower, coconut
- 1 small 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 minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves finely chopped*
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 750 ml / 3 cups water
- 150 grams / 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.
• 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.
* The herbs are sort of optional, but I recommend using them. They brighten everything up a bit.
** 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.
*** The stew tastes a bit off without the sweetener, please don't leave it out.
**** 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.