I love lentils and Puy lentils are my favourites. Especially, if I can cook them quickly without a slow cooker.
This vegan lentil stew recipe reminds my of one of my favourite childhood dishes my mum used to cook, it’s a very popular and cheap Hungarian dish type – often overcooked and too mushy with some veggies though, but not with lentils. It’s called főzelek. Similar to pottage, the főzelék is a traditional Hungarian vegetable-based meal, which plays a vital role in our cuisine as it complements meat dishes perfectly and has a good effect on metabolism. It is simply cooked, typically by simmering, adding milk/cream and/or flour as thickening. Főzelék is often eaten as the main course for lunch or like a garnish for different meat courses.
So this stew features some spices popular in Hungarian dishes: smoked paprika, chilli paprika and bay leaves. But the rest is very generic, basic stew ingredients – minus the meat obviously. The vegetables are also quite interchangeable: I’d say definitely add some carrots, but you can also use sweet potato, leeks, shallots, kale, chickpeas, whatever you have in the pantry. You can also use other brown or green lentils.
There is a step zero in this recipe, which I definitely recommend doing: soaking the lentils overnight. This reduces cooking time incredibly, so we’re looking at a cooked meal in an hour versus 2-2.5 hours. Also, all the veg cook evenly and the rest will not be a mashed mess buy the time the lentil cooks. So you can also save energy, and no need to get the slow cooker out.
This is though such a hearty meal. You wouldn’t even miss the meat even if you eat meat. Really flavoursome, filling and warms you up on a cold day. Perfect.
Hearty, Vegan Lentil Stew.
So simple it hardly needs a recipe. Warming, filling and delicious. Never can go wrong with this, the flavour of autumn.
- 300 g Puy lentils washed and soaked for overnight
- 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 150 g fresh baby spinach leaves can be more or less than this
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
- 750 ml vegetable broth
- 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 springs fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried, crushed chilly
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
The night before, soak the lentils in water so you can radically reduce cooking time.
In a casserole pan add the oil and the onions and fry them until they are golden brown.
Add all the vegetables (except the spinach) and sauté them on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add all the spices. stir everything together so the smoked paprika covers all the vegetable pieces.
Add the lentils.
Add the tomato concentrate and chopped tomatoes. Stir and simmer for a minute or two.
Add the vegetable stock, stir and cover with a lid. Cook for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
For the last 5 minutes of the cooking add the spinach and let it wilt. Turn off heat and serve the stew with a slice of crusty bread.
If you like this vegan lentil stew recipe, you might want to check out my other hearty but still vegan recipes:
And one more from another blogger friend – she has lots of fab vegan recipes too: Easy Vegan Sausage Casserole with Beans