How did you make that delicious lentil stew?


It all started with my regular, weekly trip to Dickson’s Farm Stand.  They had some nice looking smoked bacon ends, so I bought them.  On the way home, I realized I had some lentils I wanted to use up, and bam!  Menu magic!

I cut the huge slabs of fat off the bacon ends and chopped them into 1/2 inch or so pieces and put them in a hot, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat until somewhat browned (not all the way browned).

Bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Then I added some chopped onions and let them brown with the bacon and the resulting bacon grease.

Onions and bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Onions and bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Add diced carrots, celery and sweet potato and some garlic put through a press.  Stir it all up  (but add the next step before the garlic browns).

This is what it looks like like before the lentils and stock go in

This is what it looks like like before the lentils and stock go in

Put in lentils (I think I used about a cup of french lentils), some herbs (I used lemon thyme and a bit of oregano — both fresh) and a few cups of stock or water (I used a half and half combo of both, but reserve a cup or so for the end).  The stock I used was left over strained kombu stock I had made a few days before that was made with onions, carrots, celery, kombu, wakame, hijiki, ginger, garlic, shitake mushrooms, sage and thyme.  But I think you can use any kind of stock – chicken stock, beef stock, water, whatever.

After I stirred in the stock and all these ingredients, I placed a huge piece of kombu over the top (I took it out before serving) to mineralize and reduce the overall gassiness of the stew (which worked, BTW).  It looked like this when it was cooking:

Lentil stew cooking with huge piece of kombu

Lentil stew cooking with huge piece of kombu

I let it cook for a few hours over low heat until most of  the broth had cooked down.    I then removed the kombu, any stems of thyme and oregano I could find, added in the stock I reserved for the end and shut off the heat and stirred it up.

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3 Responses to How did you make that delicious lentil stew?

  1. Claudine says:

    Thank you for posting this! It was the best lentil soup/stew I ever had!!!! It passed the toddler test too – LOL!

  2. Amy says:

    That looks incredible! I’m going to look for some good bacon ends and give this a try. How do you think it would work with red lentils?

    • syntk says:

      Oh, it would work perfectly well with red lentils! If you find some good bacon ends, try to talk the butcher into giving them to you for free. They can’t really use them anyway. It didn’t work for me at Dickson’s, but who knows, it might work for you. Likewise, you can also use ham ends or even proscuitto or pancetta ends. Whatever’s available and whatever you can get at a discount and/or free! ALWAYS ask at the meat counter/butcher if they have some of those ends that you can have for free and figure out what to make once you get them. They are good to use for split pea soup, too!

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