Stewed Lentils with Red Pepper and Tomato

You may have heard that a massive storm passing over us in the New York City area, so this past weekend I made the obligatory supermarket run to stock up on things like water, batteries, and ingredients for lentils.  OK, maybe you didn’t get stuff for lentils, but you totally should have because they are the ultimate bad weather comfort food.   A warm bowl of lentils and a glass of Cabernet makes everything better, yes?  (Yes, it does.)

Aside from being insanely good for you, these little legumes happen to be delicious, filling, cheap, and incredibly easy to make.  Since it’s just me and my husband in our house, a big pot of lentils yields lots of leftovers which freeze beautifully for future rainy day lunches and dinners.  I’m serving mine with a crisp green salad and some cornbread, but these would also make a great side if you’ve got something else in mind for your entree.

So hunker down, make some lentils, and put on a good movie and your warmest, coziest sweatpants.  Stay safe, everyone!

Stewed Lentils with Red Pepper and Tomato

Serves 4

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1-2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot.  Add the onions, celery, carrots, and red pepper and cook over medium heat until softened, about 7-8 minutes.   Stir occasionally.  Add the garlic and tomato and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Add the dried lentils, dried oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and vegetable/stock water, and stir to combine.  Raise heat to bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender and vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes.  Add red wine vinegar, season to taste, and stir to combine.  Serve hot.

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