Red Eye Chicago

Spanish-style lentil stew

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Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Lentils don’t require soaking and cook in just 20 minutes on your stovetop. Look for Spanish Pardina lentils for this stew, if you can find them. They keep their shape in cooking, and have a robust flavor perfectly suited to this stew. Smoked paprika, whether hot or mild, is an excellent addition, if you have it; add it with the optional smoked sausage and garlic.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 rib celery, diced

1 package (14 ounces) smoked sausage, sliced, optional

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon smoked paprika, optional

1 pound lentils, picked over, rinsed

2 quarts chicken broth or stock

1 medium potato, cut into ½-inch dice

2 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large, heavy pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it is fragrant, add the onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften. Add the optional smoked sausage and garlic; cook a minute longer.

2. Add the lentils, chicken broth, potatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasional­ly, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; serve immediatel­y.

Nutrition informatio­n per serving: 249 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholestero­l, 41 g carbohydra­tes, 5 g sugar, 17 g protein, 618 mg sodium, 14 g fiber

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