- 7 cups water +
- 1 1/2-2 cups brown lentils (or other lentils)
Note: The lentils we had cooked in less than an hour. If your lentils do not cook so quickly, then cook them according to package directions for the specified time.
- 2 potatoes
- 3 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 stalk celery (optional) with a handful or two of chopped fresh celery leaves
- 4-6 bay leaves
- 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
- about least 2 tsp-1 Tbsp of ground coriander
- a couple dashes of ground thyme
- about 1/2-1 tsp of basil leaves
- 2 pinches of oregano
- 4 pinches of salt (I used Celtic sea salt.)
- 1-3 Tbsp 100% extra virgin (cold pressed) olive oil (fresher=better)
- Combine lentils and water. Bring to a boil on high.
- Scrub and dice potatoes.
- Peel and slice carrots (or at least scrub carrots before slicing, if you will leave the peels on).
- Add potatoes and carrots to the soup.
- Set timer for 60 minutes. Boil, covered. Reduce heat if necessary, but keep the stew boiling, increasing heat if necessary. Stir often to keep the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
- Peel and slice onion. Add to stew.
- Slice celery and chop leaves. Add to stew.
- Rinse and chop fresh parsley and add to stew.
- Add bay leaves.
- Remember to stir often.
- Add coriander. Start with smaller amount. Taste. Add more if necessary.
- Add other herbs. Taste. Add more herbs if necessary.
- Do not add salt until lentils have softened.
- Test lentils after about 20 minutes to half an hour of cooking. If they are soft, you can add the salt. If they are not soft, keep cooking. If they are not soft after an hour of cooking, you may need to cook them longer. Keep cooking, stirring often, until lentils have expanded and softened. Add more water by the cup full if necessary. I started out with 6 cups, I think, and added only one more as the lentils expanded (or were expanding). Add the salt when the lentils are soft. Add the oil about the time you add the salt, and cook for at least another 10-15 minutes, stirring often, to let the flavor go throughout the stew. The stew may take about an hour to be finished. When finished, the stew should be thick (the lentils having expanded), with brown broth. Sprinkle on a little more salt before eating (if needed). It’s better to have less salt in the cooking process than too much.
This will fill (or almost fill/full enough) at least four bowls for us, maybe up to 6.