A hundred years ago, I promised Maggie that I would give her my recipe for lentil stew so she can make it in her new crock pot. I am now finally doing that. And I am also giving it to all of you, because I am just that nice.
First of all, when I say "my" recipe, I actually mean "my ever-so-slightly-modified recipe" from Mommy Made and Daddy Too by Martha and David Kimmel. A book I highly recommend, by the by.
So. Here goes.
prep time: ~30 min. Cooking time: 1hr, 20 min stovetop, 4-8 hrs crockpot.
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carronts, diced
1/2 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 quarts broth (2 qt = 8 cups = 64 oz) (use chicken or veggie)
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried basil
pinch dried thyme
2 medium red bliss potatoes, srubbed and diced (Note: I leave these out.)
2 tbsp cider vinegar (Note: I usually forget this, but when I remember, I just add a splash)
sour cream for garnish
Warm the oil in a 4 1/2 qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, carrons, rutabaga and saute for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, till onions are translucent. Add garlic and lentils and cook for 2 min. more, stirring constantly.
Add broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. (Note: I add the herbs here, but the recipe says to wait.) Simmer, uncovered, stirring occassionally for ~1 hr until lentils are tender. Add herbs (and potatoes if you use them) and continue cooking 20 min. or until potatoes are tender. Splash in cider vinegar and put a spoonful of sour cream in each bowl.
After sauteing, transfer everything to a crockpot, add broth and herbs, cook on low for 6-8 hrs or high for 4 hrs. Splash in cider vinegar and serve with a spoonful of sour cream in each bowl. (I don't know when you should add potatoes if you use a crockpot, since I don't add them at all.)
It's a pretty yummy recipe, but the sour cream is CRITICAL for maximum yumminess. Without the sour cream, it's only meh. And I don't add potatoes because the first time I made it, the potatoes soaked up too much broth and seemed unnecessary anyway. The rutabaga is surprisingly necessary to this recipe, but you can switch up the veggies as you see fit.