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Lentil Stew

11/2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra virgin
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large celery rib, thinly sliced
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 cups defatted lower-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 can (16 ounces) stewed tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Heat oil in medium-large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add the broth, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, breaking the tomatoes into chunks with side of spoon if necessary. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until the lentils are tender but retain their shape, about 30 minutes. (Green lentils usually take about 15 minutes longer to soften.) Uncover, stir in rosemary and sage, and simmer until the lentils are thickened to a stew-like consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar and season with black pepper and salt to taste.

Thursday, April 08, 1999

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