“More lentils, please.”

Seriously have you ever heard anyone say that?

Well, this French lentil stew might do the trick.

Le Puy Green Lentils

These gorgeous slate-green lentils have a history as rich as their taste. Originally French lentils were called Puy Green Lentils because they came from Le Puy-en-Velay, France. Puy-en-Velay lies in Auvergne. In this mountainous region of southern France the soil is laden with volcanic ash, which gives the lentils their special flavor. In comparison to other lentils, they have a higher protein count, take longer to cook, and hold their shape when cooked, unlike some varieties of lentils that disintegrate when cooked.

Somehow, my previous attempts at cooking with French lentils have rendered little more than a slimy gruel. This easy stew is nothing of the sort. The hearty vegetable blend and complementary herb trio of savory, rosemary and tarragon give the stew something of an Italian flair.

rose, tarr, savory

Even if you’re not big on beans, give this a try.

You’ll be doing your body and taste buds a world of good.

carrotsFrench Lentil Stew:

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c French lentils
  • 4 c vegetable broth
  • 2 T savory
  • 2 T rosemary
  • 2 T tarragon
  •  1 t each salt / pepper

Peel and slice carrots and onion thinly. In a saucepan heat the olive oil and start to sauté the carrots and onion slices. After a few minute’s head start, add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so and then add the can of tomatoes. Stir in herbs and salt. Cover and reduce to low to stew while the lentils cook.

Rinse the lentils and place in a pot covered with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until softened.  Then take one cup of the cooked lentils and some broth and blend to a smooth puree either in a blender, food processor, or if you have one of those fancy immersion blenders (lucky!), you can probably pulse the whole mix just a little. Otherwise add the pureed lentils back into the rest of the lentils. Stir in the stewed vegetables.

French Lentil Stew

Excellent served fresh or reheated as leftovers.

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