French Lentil Stew
OK...so here's one of those vegan dishes that tastes great, but, honestly, doesn't look that hot. While this adaption of the French Lentil Sauce recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld was incredibly flavorful, I had that blog-photographer-sinking-feeling as I retrieved the pureed lentil mixture from my blender. To be frank, it looked muddy. The stew made a delicious home meal, but I can't see myself serving this one to guests.
The stew was made from the small green French lentils du Puy and flavored with a wonderful combination of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage. Although the original recipe is for a sauce to serve over pasta, this didn't feel right to me, so I used it as a high protein base for a hearty stew with potatoes, carrots, and kale. The dinosaur kale was really sensational here!
Next time, to improve the looks of this dish, I might skip pureeing part of the lentil mixture, although the puree did provide a nice gravy. Or maybe I'll use red lentils for a warm orange dish. It's certainly a meal we'll want to have again this winter.
French Lentil Stew (adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan):
1 cup lentils du Puy
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus 1 tsp minced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp minced
3 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tsp minced
salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil (Kornfeld says 3 tbsp)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
6 small potatoes, cut into small chunks
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale, stemmed and torn
Put the lentils in a large saucepan with the water, bay leaf, sage leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered until lentils are tender (25-30 minutes). Add salt and pepper. Take about a cup of the lentils and 1/2 cup of the liquid and puree in a blender. Add the potatoes and carrots to the remaining lentils and simmer until tender (10-15 minutes). Add the kale for the last 8 minutes.
Heat the lentil puree in a small saucepan with the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined, then add to larger pot. Heat together for a few minutes, then serve.