May 28, 2008

Sausage and Lentil Stew

1 lb of Italian sausage (you pick spicy or sweet) (I will also do a sausage recipe)
1 large onion or 2 small onions chopped up
4-6 cloves of garlic chopped up
3 good size pieces of celery chopped up
1Tbsp of olive oil
1 pound lentils
4-6 carrots peeled and cut into bite size chunks
2 cans chopped or crushed tomatoes
2 cans of chicken stock
8 cups of water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Parsley (dried) or 2 Tbsp's fresh
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Thyme (if you have it)
2-4 tsp of salt (I basically add salt to taste)
1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper, or if you have a pepper mill about 6-8 good turns.
1 Tbsp of Cayenne Pepper if you want it spicy.

For this recipe you are generally going to keep your pan between hot and medium hot. Throw the oil in a hot pan, add the sausage and let cook up, once almost finished and beginning to stick to the bottom add the onions, celery, and Garlic and cook up until the onions are translucent. Add the Carrots and Lentils stir it up with everything then add the tomatoes (I like to blend them up because of my kids) chicken stock and water. Mix everything up well, scraping the bottom and deglazing all of the drippings from the sausage etc. Throw in all of your spices excluding salt and pepper and let it cook up for about an hour to an hour and a half. Add Salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook for at least 15 minutes but as long as you like.

At this point it is done and you can serve it. If you cook it longer the lentils breakdown more and the overall mixture becomes creamier and creamier. If it gets too thick add more water to thin it out. I like serving this with bread but it just as easily goes over some rice or quinoa. Hope you enjoy this recipe. It worked at our house and even my kids ate it, Kaden had a 2nd bowl.

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