I know that this post is a day late, but I’ve been sick on and off for about two weeks now. I just got over being sick a week or so ago, and I woke up this morning with yet another cold. I’ve been taking vitamins, eating well, trying to get enough sleep, but for some reason, my health hasn’t seemed to improve much. I feel dizzy and stuffed up and just all around terrible. Why, world, why?
This is the kind of thing that I make when I’m sick. It’s pretty simple, hearty, and relatively healthy. I love lentils. They cook very quickly; they don’t need to be soaked overnight like most other legumes. The way in which they are cooked can be compared to the way in which rice is cooked. Lentils have tons of fiber, iron, protein, which makes them a great staple for vegetarians or people who just don’t eat a ton of meat, but they’re earthy, versatile flavor make them perfect for a variety of different meals. Even my husband, who often seems adverse to foods that might be good for you, loves lentils. Almost every culture has a common use for lentils. This is just a meal that I threw together one night to use up some vegetables that had been in my fridge for a while, as well as some delicious lamb sausage that I got the other day. I had never had lamb sausage and it was fantastic. You can easily make this dish without the lamb, though, for a quick and easy vegetarian meal. Either way, I loved the variety of flavors in this stew. Onions, garlic, carrots, celery, tomato, rosemary…what’s not to love? I believe that this dish gets even better the second or third day, as the flavors develop and meld together.
Add in the chicken broth, red wine vinegar, lentils, tomato paste, rosemary, marjoram, and red pepper flakes. Over medium heat, simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring often, until thickened.
- 1 pound dry lentils, soaked according to package directions
- 4 or 5 sausages (I used lamb sausage – you don’t have to use sausage if you want to make this vegetarian)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, diced (I used 2½ because two of my onions were really small)
- 6 spring onions, white parts and green parts sliced thinly and separated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon ground marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place your lentils in a large, non-reactive bowl and heat enough water to cover them until boiling. Cover the lentils in the boiling water and allow to soak for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Place your sausages on a lined baking sheet sprayed with some non-stick spray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until cooked through. Slice and set aside.
- Heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add in the diced onions and white parts of the spring onions. Saute for 5 minutes or so, then add in the garlic, and saute for another minute or two. Add in the carrots and celery, saute for another 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add in the chicken broth. Drain your lentils, then add them in as well, along with the red wine vinegar, tomato paste, rosemary, marjoram, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for an hour or so, until thickened.
- When thickened, add in the cooked and sliced sausage. Stir to combine, then taste and add salt and pepper as you see fit. Serve and sprinkle with the green parts of the spring onions. Serves 5.