Lentil and Veggie Stew

I got this recipe off of a message board that no longer exists. We’ve made some updates on our own, but anonymous author, wherever you are, thanks for this delish recipe!

Ingredients:

3/4 c dried lentils

1 sweet potato, cut into bite-size chunks

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 c red onion, diced

3 or 4 garlic cloves, diced or crushed

2 c broth (we’ve used up to 4 c, so you can play with this volume)

spices to taste: we like salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin. You can also use 1 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano (per the original recipe)

Jasmine or basmati rice, cooked

Instructions:

Rinse lentils and pre-soak if desired. We usually pre-soak for about 1 hour, which makes them softer and cooks quicker. If you don’t pre-soak, add more broth and extend the simmer time later in the recipe.

While lentils are soaking, toss sweet potato chunks with olive oil, and season if you like. Roast until soft in 375 degree oven (approx 35-45 mins).

Place bacon into a sauce pan. Once the fat has rendered out and the bacon has crisped up, add the onions and garlic. Sautee for 5 or so minutes, or until you can’t stand how awesome it smells any more.

Stir in lentils, broth, sweet potatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the broth picks up a luscious stew-like consistency. If I can survive the amazing aromas a bit more, I like to let it cook longer to get hearty and thick.

Serve over rice.

Options:

chopped spinach, diced carrots, diced celery (if you’re into that sort of thing), chopped tomatoes

Really – go to town and add anything you like. I can’t imagine a veggie that wouldn’t work, and any meat would probably work too. Obviously, just take out the bacon to make it a vegetarian meal.

Serves 4-6, if you don’t eat the whole darn thing yourself.

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