Yeah. I know. You are super busy making desserts and turkey glazes for your holiday meal. But what, I ask you, are you going to make all the other days? Huh?! What will you eat to counteract all the rich and sweet stuff? Here is your answer: my gluten-free french lentil stew. It’s also easy to make it vegan.
I’ve been avoiding gluten, in earnest, for a year or two now and have been a vegetarian for decades. To be honest, I long for a bagel and a beer like nobody’s business. But, I love how good I feel. Honestly, I’m a much healthier eater now that I can’t just fill up on bread & pasta. This stew is the kind of meal that feels really filling but energizing at the same time. Lentils are packed with protein and iron and nothing is quite as satisfying as a good, hearty stew for those days when you are working your butt off getting ready for the holidays.
A few quirky things: I hate celery and avoid it at all costs. I often replace celery with the stalk from broccoli. Peel off the rough outer skin and the inside is sweeter and soft and yummy. It provides the same watery addition as celery does but without the gross taste (did my celery-hate just pop to the surface?).
Also, french lentils are smaller and very different from regular green lentils. They stay firm when cooked and are more toothsome. A much better taste, in my opinion, in a stew because they don’t dissolve into a mush like green lentils. So, don’t cheat…make sure you use french lentils!
Here it is, the iron-rich lentil soup that makes my house smell amazing and makes my vegetarian soul sing:
- 1 finely diced onion
- 3 cubed carrots
- 2 stalks from broccoli, just the stalk, with the rough skin peeled off and finely cubed (or replace with 2 stalks of celery)
- 2 Tablespoons oil (coconut or canola, whatever you like)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup french lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- splash of red wine vinegar
- splash of worcester sauce (omit if you don’t eat fish)
In a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed saucepan sauté, over medium heat, the broccoli stalk, onion and carrot in the oil until the onion is transparent. Add in diced tomatoes and the bay leaf cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Throw in the lentils, vegetable broth, spices and splash of red wine vinegar and worcester sauce. Bring to a boil and then cook for 20-25 minutes at a slow boil. Enjoy!
Once your tummy is filled with this goodness, you will be ready to tackle the holidays head on! Go tiger!