Simple, elegant and earthy, this lentil stew is warming and comforting on the coldest of winter days. It’s easy to make, loaded with nutrients and the greens add a freshness that prevents the stew getting heavy.
Makes 4 to 5 servings
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 red onion, cut into small dice
2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed well
3 cups spring or filtered water
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch escarole, broccoli rabe or kale, rinsed very well, hand shredded into bite-size pieces
Place oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in celery and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in carrot and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in bell pepper and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Add lentils, water and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are soft and all the water has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt; stir in greens and cook, covered, until they are tender and wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir well to combine and transfer to a serving bowl.