Cook1 hr 30 mins
From the Barefoot Contessa show To Go, then tweeked just a leeetle to make it vegetarian. It is warming and rib sticking good. Yum! Sometimes in a pinch, I use ketchp instead of tomato paste, but you could also add a can of Rotel tomatoes instead(use about 1/2 cup less broth). If you like, change it up a little bit and add 4 cups of potatoes. If you cook it a few days earlier then you intend on serving it, it will taste even better and thicken. Freeze the leftovers in quart containers to thaw out later for a quick dinner. I think this would also be good with some soy chorizo added.
- 1 lb french green lentil (or brown)
- 4 cups yellow onions, diced small (3 large onions)
- 4 cups leeks, white part only, diced small (2-3 leeks-if I don't have I use scallions-about 8, the green and white parts-could also use shallots)
- 1⁄2 cup red bell pepper, diced small (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 1⁄4 cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (if you use regular salt, use less, about 1 1/2 tsp)
- 1 -1 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (go easy at first-you can always add more, but you cant' take it away)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leave (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon ground cumin (some like to use curry powder or chili powder for a change)
- 3 cups small diced celery (8 stalks)
- 3 cups small diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
- 3 quarts vegetable stock
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 1 -2 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or red wine)
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
- In a large stockpot(7 qt.) on medium heat, saute the onions, leeks, red peppers, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender.
- Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, and lentils and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour(or a little more to taste), until the lentils are cooked through.
- Check the seasonings.
- Add the red wine vinegar and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
- Good served with a salad and popovers!