Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spicy Lentil Stew

Lentils are not one of those things that everyone likes. I would have to admit that my own feelings about lentils were formed by some not-so-tasty dishes I had early on in life. I distinctly recall thinking of lentils as the 'mud bean'.

Thankfully, I persevered, learned how to cook them properly, and came to love them.
Lentils don't benefit from overcooking and they are a legume that needs no soaking. On the contrary, if you soak them, you will certainly get mud for your efforts.

While there is meat in this, it's very easy to leave it out and retain the spice by adding cayenne pepper to taste. Substitute water or vegetable stock for the chicken, and you're good to go - vegetarian style.

Spicy Lentil Stew
Printable Recipe
Serves 6-8

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage - sliced
1 smoked turkey bone
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme - crushed
1 bay leaf
1 lb lentils - picked through and rinsed once

1. Heat oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, carrots and garlic and stir. Cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add sausage and cook just until no longer pink (or, in this case - red)
3. Add turkey bone, lentils, stock, thyme and bay leaf.
4. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are done.