With carrots, kale, spinach and sweet onion, this is a rich and flavourful stew that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.
1/4 cup beluga (black) lentils
1/2 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2″ dice (I use purple)
1 large portobello mushroom, 1/2″ dice (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded, 1/2″ dice (about 1 – 1 1/4 cup)
1 large floury potato, 1/2″ half-moon slices (about 2 cups, I use organic russet)
1 small sweet onion (about 1 1/2 cup), 1/4″ slices
1T fresh garlic, minced
2t smoked paprika
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1t prepared brown mustard
1/4t black pepper (I use 1/2t)
1/4t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T arrowroot flour dissolved in 2T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1 cup baby spinach
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white sauerkraut (I use unpasteurized)
Optional: Add a good pinch of crushed caraway seeds for a little extra flavour. Add a medley of mushrooms if you prefer. Maitake, cremini, porcini, even a little morel, will all go well in this. Replace the greens added at the end with 1 cup sauerkraut and 1 cup shredded green cabbage added with the other vegetables if you prefer. Add a little wine, cashew butter, and/or oil for a richer stew. Slowcook if you prefer; prepare the lentils as directed, but add everything up to and including the passata, cook on low for several hours and then finish as directed.
In a large frying pan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils but reserve the kombu. Return the lentils to the pan.
Add everything up to and including the red pepper flakes to the pan, potatoes first, onions last. Return the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
After an hour, the potatoes should be fork tender and the lentils completely cooked. Uncover, increase heat to medium low and add the passata. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
At the 30 minute mark, remove the kombu. Add the arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast. Add the spinach and kale. Stir to combine.
Let stand 3 – 5 minutes to wilt the greens. Season to taste. Ladle/spoon out, garnish with sauerkraut and serve.