Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011: Lentil and Sausage Stew Recipe

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I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but around here it’s getting downright chilly at night and in the mornings. It won’t be long now before we get our first freeze.

As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, I start thinking about making hot, hearty dishes like stew and soup for dinner. Here’s one that used up a lot of food in my refrigerator. Feel free to substitute other meats and vegetables that you may have in your fridge; adding some greens is a flavorful addition and ham would work equally well with the flavor profile of this dish. To me, there are no hard and fast rules for soup ingredients; experiment with what you’ve got!

Lentil and Sausage Stew

1 T. olive oil
2 cups chopped white or yellow onion (about 2 medium onions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups sliced carrots
1 pound smoked sausage (I used jalapeno cheddar but any variety is fine), sliced
1 pound lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
1 t. dried sage
1 T. dried fennel seeds
½ t. black pepper
1 t. salt (or to taste)

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven to medium low. Add onion, garlic and carrots and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add sausage, lentils, broth and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until lentils are soft.  

Note: You may need to add extra water if the stew is too thick.
You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker. Just add all ingredients to your crock pot in the morning and by dinner time all of the ingredients should be thoroughly cooked.

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