This recipe is based on one from Diana Henry, which I found several years ago in her book titled Plenty: Good, uncomplicated food for the sustainable table. This is a wonderful dish that has stood the test of time. I come back to it over and over when I’m after an easy, nourishing dinner. Its simpliciy is deceptive, making one think this won’t be very interesting, but it has a lot of flavor. The carrots are sweet, the spices add heat, while the lentils add a hint of umami and texture. Don’t be stingy with the lemon juice at the end. The acidity makes this whole thing sing.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4-5 as a side. Vegan and GF.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil.
  • 1 onion sliced into thin, half-moons.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes.
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup (100g) French green lentils (Puy).
  • 5-6 carrots, sliced.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 1/4 cups (375mil) vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh herbs. I like a combination of dill and parsley; a bit of mint and sometimes cilantro. Use what you like best. Make sure you have quite a lot, around 3 tablespoons.
  • fresh lemon juice – a good squeeze from a quarter to half a lemon.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a 2-3 qt saucepan or Dutch oven.
  2. Sauté the onion until soft and beginning to turn color.
  3. Add the garlic, coriander and chili flakes and cook for 1 -2 minutes to release their aromas.
  4. Add the lentils, carrots, tomato paste, stock, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. The lentils will be tender and the liquid should be absorbed. Keep an eye on it near the end to make sure the bottom of the pan isn’t burning.
  5. Add the herbs and lemon juice. Give it a stir. Taste. Adjust the seasonings.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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