A warming lentil stew recipe made vegan and gluten free with green lentils and lots of veggies and herbs. Best served with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Talk about the ultimate in warm and cozy dinner foods.
This stew is an easy-to-make meal that can be ready in about an hour. It’s completely gluten-free and some serious stick to your ribs stuff, whatever that means. This stew is thick and rich and luscious (yes! lentils can be luscious).
And sometimes on a random Wednesday in December when you know indulgence is going to take over in T-minus 4 days and when there’s about 3 feet of snow and some crazy gusty winds outside, something wholesome and just good for you really hits the spot.
MORE ABOUT THIS WARMING LENTIL STEW RECIPE – TIPS AND TRICKS
Veggies and lentils are what this stew is all about.
For the veggies, I used onion, celery, carrots, and white potatoes. Sweet potato or squash (or both can be used instead of the potatoes, for sure!) I also love the spinach here! Stirred in just at the end, the spinach becomes perfectly wilted and gives this otherwise very brown stew a nice pop of colour. If you don’t have spinach, kale, swiss chards or other leafy green will do the trick.
I love all the parsley in here too. Just roughly chopped, nothing special. There’s something about grassy parsley that goes so well with earthy lentils. The other spices are your standard spice-cupboard finds – smokey paprika, thyme, bay leaf and if you are feeling adventurous (or are a fellow mustard lover – it’s our favourite condiment, hands down) some spicy ground mustard seed (or a little bit of dijon mustard works too).
I used brown lentils here and I loved that mushy texture. Is that weird to say? (I tried this recipe with French lentils and black lentils and although it tasted fine, there was too much going on. French Puy lentils keep their form and shape when cooked which didn’t lend much to a soupy, stew-like consistency. And because a stew is what we are going for here, the stew-like consistency is important!)
But the real trick to a super thick and rich stew? Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the lentils and vegetables and puree them until smooth and then stir them back into the pot. This gives that super-rich and thick consistency without having to add extra liquids or thickeners. In fact, you could puree the whole pot and turn it into more of a soup if you liked but I like to keep some of the shape and texture of the veggies.
This recipe seriously makes a ton of soup. I think it’s best served with a drizzle of olive oil (the flavoured kind if you have it – a spicy olive oil or a garlicky olive oil are so lovely here), a little extra lemon juice on top and if you are feeling it, parmesan cheese (or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast to keep it vegan.) This Lentil Stew freezes nicely too if you have leftovers that are better kept until January.Print
A warming lentil stew recipe made vegan and gluten free with green lentils and lots of veggies and herbs. Best served with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 small – medium potato, chopped (about 1 cup)*
- 1 small-medium sweet potato, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (or use 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard; optional)
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 4–6 cups vegetable stock (no salt added)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or use fresh squeezed lemon juice)
- 3 cups (packed) spinach, kale or collard greens
- 1 cup Italian or curly parsley (chopped), plus more for serving
- Olive oil (flavoured or plain), extra lemon juice for serving
- In a large pot or soup pot with a tight fitting lid, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and potatoes to the pot. Let cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until onions just start to often without browning.
- Add the garlic, salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, mustard (if using) and thyme. Cook for another 3 minutes or so or until very fragrant. Stir in the lentils.
- Add 4 cups of the vegetable stock and bay leaf. Bring soup to a gentle boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Let lentils simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.The stew will be very thick in consistency –
- thin with remaining stock and/or water until desired consistency is reached. (This stew is meant to be a thick, rich and hearty stew, though.)
- Stir in apple cider vinegar and remove from heat.
- Fold in spinach (or other leafy green) and parsley – the residual heat from the stew should wilt the spinach and parsley. Season with additional salt or pepper.
- Serve stew with a drizzle of olive oil, extra lemon juice and extra parsley on top. This stew freezes really well.
* I prefer to peel my potatoes before adding them into this stew. Peeling is not completely necessary though.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes