Now that we are in that month or so that is happily smushed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and bursting with holiday cheer, I wanted to take a break from all the rich, decadent and elaborate holiday meals and bring it back to simple, flavorful, healthy and warming comfort food. This meal is high in nutritional value, flavor, and is so simple: it’s a single pot meal that cooks up in just about 35 minutes. Lentils are one my favorite legumes – they are fiber and protein all stars! Just one cup of cooked lentils provides: 90% DV (daily value) of folate, 63% DV of fiber, 37% DV of iron, 36% DV of protein, 21% DV of potassium (plus 28% DV of vitamin B1, 25% DV of vitamin B5 and 21% DV of vitamin B6) – aka they are total powerhouses of nutrients. The spices in this meal are saffron and smoked paprika (pimeton), which are the major players in one my favorite Spanish dishes – paella. Here they lend a smokiness and earthiness (yeah, so weird but I couldn’t think of how to describe saffron, some connoisseurs say it has a metallic-honey, with grassy, or hay-like notes – idk, those descriptions sound suspect – but saffron is the BEST even though it is so dang expensive) to this dish. I like to describe this lentil dish as “stewp” – a hybrid between a soup and stew – perfect for serving with some crusty bread, or pouring over your favorite grain (brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley…you name it). YUM!
Spanish Style Lentils à la L
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 – 3 tsp minced garlic
- 2 – 3 large stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 cup of dried lentils, washed and picked over
- 2 cups of veggie broth (or more, depending on how soup-y you like your stewp)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of dry red wine
- 2 tiny pinches of saffron (1/2 tsp)
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Step One: Heat the olive in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for a few minutes, until they are softened (5 – 7 minutes)
Step Two: Add the spices and saute for 1 minute.
Step Three: Add the veggie broth, wine and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Stir in the lentils, and allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat, partially covered for about 35 minutes, or until the lentils have softened.
While you’re waiting, enjoy a glass of that dry red wine! 😉
Step Four: Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or over your favorite grain, and enjoy!! 😀
This “stewp” is balls to the wall amazing. It’s warm, comforting and versatile – you can make it more of a soup, or stew, depending on your preference. It’s an easy, one-pot meal that is one of my go-to’s for busy weeknight dinners. There isn’t much to it (but has that comforting earthiness), and the simmering time gives you enough downtime to enjoy a glass of that dry, red wine that you add. The perfect ending to a crazy day, if you ask me. 😀
I added some crusty, whole grain bread to it (and a glass of wine to savor), but as I mentioned before – don’t feel limited. Serve over a cup of wild rice, red quinoa, or farro if you’re looking for more of a stick-to-the-ribs stew. So, so delicious. It really hit the spot I was craving – healthy, flavorful, and filling. Perfect for an early December evening meal 😀
I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did last night! Yummmm!!! 😀
Happy Tuesday, all! ❤ 🙂