Recently, a friend of mine had a baby, and I volunteered to bring her and her spouse a home-cooked meal on a particularly cold and windy evening. Since her partner is a vegan, I made this hearty lentil stew paired with whole-wheat beer bread.
- 5 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 10 ounces button mushrooms, halved or quartered into bite-sized pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dried lentils*
- 1 can (28-ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 1 carton (32-ounces) Vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
*You can use any color/type of lentil that you prefer. I typically use green lentils since they are less expensive and tend to retain their shape after being cooked for a long time.
Add carrots, onion, mushrooms, and garlic to slow-cooker. Sprinkle lentils over the vegetables; then pour the tomatoes (juice included) over the top. Add bay leaves and rosemary.
Add enough vegetable broth to cover the tomatoes by 2-3 inches (roughly 16 ounces), being careful not to add the entire carton in one go. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the lentils are tender and the stew has reached the desired consistency. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper before serving.
Note: you may add more or less vegetable broth depending on whether you prefer a stew-like or soup-like consistency – although I would recommend adding only a little bit at a time until you find an amount that works for you. The remaining broth can be used in another recipe (like this one for slow-cooked black bean tacos); or some of it can be added to the stew if you plan on reheating and eating it as leftovers since lentils tend to absorb more liquid as they sit overnight.