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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Cozy & Hearty Lentil Stew

There's something incredibly comforting about a warm, hearty stew, especially when it's packed with flavor and nutrition. Today, I want to share a recipe that's not only delicious but also easy to prepare – our Cozy and Hearty Lentil Stew.


This recipe features the humble brown lentil, a powerhouse of protein and fiber. Combined with fresh herbs, aromatic spices, and the rich taste of San Marzano tomatoes, this stew is bound to become a family favorite. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, this recipe is straightforward and guarantees delicious results.


The Magic of Soffritto


The base of our lentil stew is a classic soffritto, a fragrant mix of finely chopped red onion sautéed in olive oil with a bay leaf. This simple step builds a deep, savory foundation for the stew. Once the onion becomes translucent, it's time to add the star of the show – the brown lentils.


Building Flavors


Sliced San Marzano tomatoes (without their seeds and pulp), tomato concentrate, fresh parsley, marjoram, and a touch of spice join the party next. A hint of black pepper and turmeric adds warmth and depth, while fresh red chillies bring just the right amount of heat. The vegetable stock ties everything together, creating a rich broth that the lentils will absorb as they cook.


The Pressure Cooker Advantage


Cooking lentils in a pressure cooker not only saves time but also ensures they are perfectly tender. After just 20 minutes, your lentils will be cooked to perfection, infused with all the wonderful flavors you've added.


Finishing Touches


While the lentils are cooking, you'll prepare the toppings. Fresh tomatoes, parsley, and marjoram add a burst of freshness to the finished dish. But the real magic happens when you fry some pine nuts and sultanas in olive oil until they're golden and aromatic. These little nuggets of flavor are sprinkled over the stew just before serving, adding a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness.


Serve and Enjoy


Drizzle your stew with a bit of chilly oil for an extra kick and serve it with some crusty bread. This lentil stew is perfect for a cozy dinner, offering a satisfying and nutritious meal that's full of flavor.


Whether you're enjoying it on a chilly evening or simply looking for a comforting dish to warm your soul, this lentil stew is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Give it a try and let me know what you think.



Ingredients


1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained

3 San Marzano tomatoes, sliced lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed and kept aside

1 tbsp tomato concentrate

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (divided)

2 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped (divided)

Fresh red chillies, to taste

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp turmeric

4 cups vegetable stock

Salt, to taste

2 tbsp pine nuts

2 tbsp sultanas

Chilly oil, for serving


Instructions


Prepare the Soffritto: In a pressure cooker, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped red onion and bay leaf. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.


Add the Main Ingredients: Stir in the brown lentils, the seeds and pulp of your San Marzano tomatoes, and tomato concentrate. Add half of the chopped parsley and marjoram, fresh red chillies, black pepper, and turmeric. Mix well to combine the flavors.


Cook the Lentils: Pour in the vegetable stock and adjust the salt to taste. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes.


Prepare the Toppings: While the lentils are cooking, chop the remaining San Marzano tomatoes, parsley, and marjoram. Set aside. In a small pan, heat a little olive oil. Fry the pine nuts and sultanas until golden brown.


Finish the Stew: Once the lentils are cooked, release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Top the stew with the fried pine nuts and sultanas, chopped fresh tomatoes, and the remaining parsley and marjoram.


Serve: Drizzle with chilly oil before serving. Enjoy this hearty stew with some crusty bread on the side.

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