Smoky Lentil Goodness

Tuesday was a cold sort of day and I felt like a little Autumnal Lentil warmth.  I had in mind to make a French-style puy lentil stew that I made a while back (recipe pending) because I loved the nutty texture of the little hard lentils.  But when I went to the cupboard, all I had were some red lentils I bought a few weeks ago to make some food for Kazuo.  He wasn’t a fan – not ready for that gritty texture I guess – so they were languishing.  They would have to do… though they would not really suit the lentil stew recipe I had in mind.  So I did some inventing.

Susan at Fat Free Vegan makes frequent use of Liquid Smoke – an ingredient I had never heard of before. But I was grateful to her for the idea, and really happy to have stumbled across it at the supermarket last week.  So Tuesday was the day for trying it out.  I splashed some into  the Beans and Rice I made for dinner and I thought it could become the signature flavour of my lentil dish.  I may have been a little heavy handed – and for some of you the quantity might need a little adjusting down, but it was perfect for me.  So I created a smoky stew that will do for several more lunches to come and went great with some wholemeal toast.

Smoky Lentil Stew

1 C dried Red Lentils

1 C Vegetable Stock

3 C Water

1 cubed Potato

1 sliced Carrot

1 tin (440g) Chopped Tomatoes (I used onion and garlic flavoured so I could cheat on not adding these things)

3 – 4 sliced Mushrooms

3 – 4 sliced stems of Celery

1 T Liquid Smoke

Pre-cook the potato and carrot together in water – either in microwave for 4 – 5mins or for 10mins in a saucepan on the stove.

Saute the remaining vegetables in olive oil, add some dried herbs and then the potato & carrot.

After everything is softened, add the Liquid Smoke and saute a little more.

Then add the dry lentils and the tomatoes and stock.

Stir for a bit and finally add all the water.

Keep on a moderate/high heat and simmer (adding more water if necessary) for 20 – 25mins.

Take off the heat and let stand for 10mins – then gobble it down with some crusty bread or whole wheat toast.

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