Recipe by Caryn Dalton
Thick comfort food. This is very fast to throw together and an excellent way to get my kids to eat their veggies. A one pot meal. Serve with a crusty thick bread and don't eat too much...easier said than done!
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
- 1 medium onion, medium chunked
- 4 medium carrots (1/4 inch chunks or slices)
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves, thinly sliced and divided)
- 1 (12 ounce) bag lentils, washed
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (or stewed)
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 2 (15 ounce) cans beef broth (or 3 cups homemade)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves (or 2 TSP pre-minced or garlic powder)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons flour (optional for thickening) or 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional for thickening)
- 1⁄2 cup acini di pepe pasta (with an additional 1 1/2 cups of water) or 1⁄2 cup orzo pasta (with an additional 1 1/2 cups of water)
Directions See How It's Made
- Brown ground turkey or LEAN beef with chopped onion, carrots and 1 stalk of sliced celery in pan (ingredients 1-4). When browned, DRAIN INTO A SEPERATE BOWL, RESERVING JUICES from pan. If you used more than 90% fat ground beef, then skim all but 1 TB of liquids (try to skim off only the fat) and discard. Set pan back on burner to heat on med-high.
- While first four ingredients are browning, put your washed lentils in a large stockpot and add water, tomatoes & beef broth (ingredients #5-8). Cook, covered on high until boiling, then turn to medium-low until so thick a simmer is more appropriate. Remove lid while simmering. STIR OFTEN or as it thickens it will stick and scorch. When first 4 ingredients have been drained, add them to the stock pot along with extra stalk of thinly sliced celery and celery leaves.
- To heated pan, add last ingredients (#9-13) and cook on high (deglaze) while scraping and whisking for 1 minute or until hot. Then, add to stockpot and stir all well and cook about 30-45 minutes, stirring often.
- If you want to add in the orzo or Acini-de-pepi pasta, do so during the last 10 minutes of simmering and do not use flour or cornstarch to thicken becuase the pasta will zap all the liquid out of the pot. When we use pasta we always add at least another 1- 1/2 cups of water to the pot cause we like a little stew juice.
- Optional-sometimes for whatever reason the final result is not as thick as I would like when we don't use the pasta. When this happens, I seperately combine 1-2 TB of flour or cornstarch to 1/4 cup of cold water and stir resulting mix in VERY SLOWLY and cook five minutes longer. This thickens it nicely. Also, we season to taste in our bowls because in our family we have babies (no seasoning) and then there are spicy-lovers. I love to add chipotle tobasco and mesquite seasoning to this. We eat this once every two weeks. It is definately a staple and always makes enough for leftover night.
- I make this vegetarian with good results too, I just leave out the meat, sub vegetable broth for the beef and extra onion and carrots when I do -- and I always use the pasta when making this nice vegan meal.