quick and easy
I recently received a box of cookies from my dear friend Leslie. Every time I think of Leslie, I'm reminded me of this amazing lentil stew recipe she gave me a long time ago. It has since been modified a few dozen times and the recipe below is for our favorite version. It doesn't have strong or complex seasonings and usually I prefer it like that; mellow and understated. However, occasionally I'll use it as a base to improvise with what I have on hand and what I'm in the mood for (perhaps adding a little adobo seasoning, cumin and lime to give it a southwestern flair or a bit of berbere and nitter kibbeh for an Ethiopian kick).
Vegan Red Lentil Stew
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 bouillon cubes
- 1 onion
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 carrots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 jalapenos (optional)
- 1 t dried basil
- 1/2 t dried oregano
- few sprinkles red pepper flakes
- a few handfuls of fresh spinach or a box of frozen chopped spinach
- In a medium sauce pan, combine lentils, water, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and bouillon. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop onion, celery and carrots. Add them, with the garlic cloves and jalapeno (if using), to a food processor and pulse until finely diced (or finely dice by hand).
- Add vegetables to sauce pan along with the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.
- If using fresh spinach, chop and add to lentils. If using frozen spinach, defrost in microwave, wring out extra water and add to lentils.
- Simmer for 30 minutes total (start timing once you turn the temperature down to simmer), stirring every once in a while.
Out of the goodness of her heart, Leslie shipped me a box of her delicious cookies. This batch was mint chocolate chip and they were just perfect. Slightly crispy around the edges and chewy in the centers with a hint of mint to make them extra special.
For a very reasonable price, she will happily mail you some cookies too! She's not only a terrific baker but she's also a very talented jeweler. Check out her etsy shop, Piece by Peace or her Facebook Fan Page!