March 31, 2009

Lentil Stew, A History

I went to Indiana University in Bloomington for a B.S. in Dietetics. Actually, I got a B.S. in Health and Safety somehow, but my "major" was Dietetics. One of my favorite classes was a foods lab where we cooked in this great big kitchen with great big long windows in the oldest portion of the university, so it overlooked the original "square."
In this class we divided into four groups, about four people in each, and we prepared recipes - same dish with slightly different alterations. One group might overbeat the whole wheat muffin batter or one group might add cool water instead of warm to the yeast, etc. Then we compared and contrasted and ate. One of the many recipes we tried was this awesome lentil stew. It became Jennie's Lentil Stew back home, all my friends have the recipe and enjoy it.
Early on when Stan and I were vegetarians (before I was pregnant with Seth and became a raging carnivore, sniffing out cheesesteak joints a mile away) this was a weekly staple. I haven't made it for a long while though, but today I threw a pot together since we have an impossibly crazy schedule tonight from 2:45 until 8:30. If you like beans or lentils, try it!
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 carrots, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 t. marjoram
1/2 t. thyme
3 cups of broth or water
1 cup lentils, washed
1 T dried parsley (or a handful of fresh)
1 lb canned tomatoes, crushed or whole
Swiss cheese
Saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil until soft. Add marjoram and thyme and saute a minute longer. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
Serve with grated Swiss cheese. Jarlsburg is good too!


rosemary said...

you know I love lentils don't you? I do love lentils. i have a recipe from Rook's Nest and now yours...I will make it this weekend. What kind of lentils do you use? Red, green, brown, doesn't matter? Red ones tend to get really mushy fast. when i was a kid and a Catholic there was meatless Friday. My dad would Bar-b-que sword fish...nasty...then fish stix came into being and my brother always wanted mom started making lentils with alphabet pasta for me....just lentils, pasta and garlic....heavenly.

Jennie said...

Oh good, you like lentils too! I use brown lentils usually, never really paid much attention to it. The only thing I'd adjust is the tomatoes. Sometimes it gets too acidy for me and I use less tomatoes. I think if they're crushed you can use a little less. And I've made it with water, chicken broth and vegetable broth and it's good any way.

Jennie said...

Oh and the recipe actually calls for 1/2 cup of olive oil! I halved that and it's still a'plenty!

Paul Nichols said...

Did you say 1/4 cup Olive oil? Wow!

I'll try this. I'm skittish about lentil soup because way back when our kids were little and our bank account was littler, we ate lentil soup for 8 nights in a row. It sure hurt back then.

Mom said...

Can I come over for dinner?