Rustic lentil stew perfect with crusty bread

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

If you have never pureed cooked carrots as a thickening and flavoring agent to a stew, you are in for a treat.

With the addition of some slight sweetness in the way of dried fruit, this hearty stew is a great entree by itself … with the addition of some crusty bread that is.

easyrusticlentilstewwithdriedfruit4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked, diced carrot
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed *
1/2 cup dried papaya, mango or apricots, diced small
1/2 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
Salt and black pepper

In a food processor or blender, puree broth with carrots until as smooth as possible; set aside.
Add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion until they begin to soften.

Add broth mixture, lentils, papaya and spinach. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and gently boil for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve hot.

* You can also use canned lentils, but drain well and only cook until everything is heated through.

NOTE: Add some cooked diced chicken and substitute chicken broth for the vegetable broth if desiring a robust stew with meat.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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  1. Maureen Bell says:

    Thanks for a veggie recipe!