I grew up eating stews like this one all the time. I love them dearly. The perfect time to have them is when it’s cold or raining inside, and you make a big pot of lentil stew to share with your loved ones over by the fireplace with a glass of red and some fresh, soft and fluffy Italian bread.
I was recently reading a book about a Danish word that encompasses that feeling – hygge. That feeling of cosiness, comfort and sense of belonging. I love creating that feeling around food. And it’s meals like this French lentil, mushroom and sage stew that can easily create it.
I’m day-dreaming about this mood more these days as we slowly start preparing ourselves for our big move to Slovenia. With full-on winters ahead of us, we will be spending more time indoors. I plan to spend as much time in the kitchen as possible, creating these warming meals and more recipes for you.
I hope you enjoy this one. I’ve noticed that you guys have a thing for my stew recipes. In particular this hearty mung bean stew with kale that seems to be one of the most popular recipes on the website. I recently re-shot it because I wasn’t happy with the original images. My style of photography has evolved over the years, and I’m currently really into the earthy and dark style. Have you noticed? What do you think? I think this is more me.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped finely
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 200 gr Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cups (750ml) of boiling water + 1 tbsp stock powder, or liquid vegetable stock + 250 ml boiling water
- 6 fresh sage leaves, torn in half
- 2 small sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup French lentils (aka Puy lentils), soaked overnight and rinsed
- 1 tbsp kudzu* or corn starch, diluted in 2 tbsp of water
- 2 tbsp tamari or 1 tbsp dark miso paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- In a saucepan, on medium heat, add in the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms and let it sweat down for another couple of minutes.
- Add in the stock, sage and thyme and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in the lentils and simmer on high for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Add in the kudzu mix, the extra cup of water, tamari, lemon juice and simmer on medium heat for a further 15 minutes with the lid on the saucepan.
- When the lentils are nice and soft but not mushy, the stew is finished. If you don't get a chance to soak the lentils beforehand, it will just take longer to cook.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*This is a root of the Kudzu plant, used in Asian cooking as a thickener. It's a healthier alternative.
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