Hearty Lentil Stew

The weather is cooling off, so warm and comforting dishes like stew are sounding pretty good right now! Stews are a delicious way to add more vegetables and beans to your diet, not to mention, they are fairly simple to make!
We recently found this Hearty Lentil Stew recipe on the blog "A Couple Cooks" and it turned out to be easy, delicious and so comforting. We've made it a few times already, and each batch has been great. 
Lentils are already high in protein, but you can get even more in by adding some plant based sausages. We like the Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant Based Sausages from Field Roast. We added a note at the bottom of the recipe for how to include these. You can definitely substitute these for your favorite type of sausage or Beefy Crumbles (plant based ground "beef").
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we are! It makes a pretty big batch so it will last you a few days, depending on how many people you're feeding.

HEARTY LENTIL STEW

Recipe & photo source: A Couple Cooks

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach 
  • For the garnish: Parmesan cheese (recommended)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Finely dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the carrots. Chop the celery into small pieces. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes until just translucent. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, and lentils and stir 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, vegetable broth and salt. 
  3. Bring to a simmer. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are tender. Stir in the spinach in the last minute or so and cook until it wilts (if using kale or chard, add it in the last 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper as necessary. For best flavor, garnish with Parmesan cheese (we like the Follow Your Heart one). Stores refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for 3 to 4 months.

PROTEIN BOOST

We like to add a package of Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant Based Sausages by Field Roast to the soup. We slice the sausages into pieces and brown them in a pan before adding them to the stew as it cooks. You can use any kind of savory sausage you like. 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH

Serve the stew over steamed rice or quinoa, or enjoy a thick slice of crusty bread on the side (we like whole grain or sourdough). The stew is also great by itself! Just be mindful of having a portion size that's right for you.