A perfect dinner for those nights when you could just use something hearty and warm, this classic French lentil stew is a vegetarian delight. Simple to prepare and comforting to the senses,once you make this, you’ll want to keep lentils on hand more often. If you can’t wait around for the lentils to cook, start the dish in the morning and let the softened savories, lentils, herbs, and broth cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 on low and add the greens twenty minutes before serving.
Number of Servings: 6 (182 G )
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
- 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 4 lg. garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. lentils, preferably imported green lentils,washed and picked over (2 1/4 cups)
- A bouquet garni made with 2 bay leaves and a sprig or two each of thyme and parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (3/4 to 1 lb.), stemmed, washed and coarsely chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan, crumbled goat cheese or feta for serving
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the lentils, 2 quarts water and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bouquet garni.
- Stir the chard into the simmering lentils. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until the lentils and greens are tender. The chard should be tender but still bright. Taste, adjust seasonings, sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Advance preparation: You can cook the lentils through Step 2 and keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe. The finished dish will keep for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator, but the color of the chard will fade.