This stew provides the warming comfort of spices and hearty vegetables. I added vegetables that encourage you to eat the rainbow. This stew can be cooked in the slow cooker, instant pot, or stove top.
It is important to think about eating a variety of plant foods in a variety of colors. The darker the color the more nutrients it provides. Red foods provide different benefits then green foods and so on. So make sure you are eating a diverse diet rich in lots of vegetables and fruits.
4 - 6 servings
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, diced small
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup brown or green lentils
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped dark leafy greens, chopped - kale, collard, chard, or spinach
Juice of half a lemon
Slow cooker Instructions:
Add everything to the slow cooker except the dark leafy greens and lemon juice. Give everything a mix, cover and set for 5 hours. When it has been going for 4 hrs and 15 mins to 4 hrs 30 mins remove the bay leaves and add in the chopped greens. Removing the bay leaves now makes them easier to find before adding in your greens.
Give the stew a quick stir and let everything finish cooking. When the 5 hours is up squeeze in the lemon juice. Taste your stew and add in any salt or pepper you'd like. It is that easy!
Stove Top Instructions:
In a large opt, add in your onions and start to cook on medium-low heat with a little bit of broth to prevent sticking. When they start to turn translucent, turn the heat to medium and add in your garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery. Let all the vegetables cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in more broth as needed to prevent sticking.
Add in your dice tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils, and seasonings. Do not add in your kale or lemon juice yet. Bring everything to a boil, once it starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let cook partially covered for 20 minutes.
Add in your chopped leafy greens and stir. Let everything cook for another 5 minutes. Once your sweet potatoes are soft and your lentils are cooked you can turn off the heat.
Add in your lemon juice. Taste test and add any salt or pepper you'd like.
Instant Pot Instructions:
Just like the slow cooker - Add everything but the leafy greens and lemon juice to the instant pot. Use the soup/broth setting. I believe it goes for 3 hours. Once your instant pot soup/broth setting is done stir in the leafy greens. Place the lid back on and allow the heat of the soup to soften your greens for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and add any last salt or pepper you'd like.
If you don't have a red onion, just use whatever you have! Don't have celery or carrot? Use chopped zucchini, leeks, parsnips, etc.
Top with some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired. Serve with a slice of sourdough bread.
The ultimate comfort meal when you need something to warm you from the inside out.
You could also use your favorite bean instead of the lentils for something different.
Another option is switch out the sweet potatoes for pumpkin or squash.
The kinds of simple yet delicious plant-based recipes can be easily altered to suit your palette.
Some people feel plant-based can be boring but it is anything but boring. You have so many options with very little effort. Give it a try and see what you come up with!
What is your preferred method for cooking soups and stews?