Simple, frugal lentils are the base of this hearty lentil stew that will leave you happily satisfied. Not only because it tastes great, but because it delivers a healthy dose of solid nutrition.
Since going gluten-free/grain-free, I’ve been following the specific carbohydrate diet for the most part (a special gluten-free, grain-free diet for those with chronic conditions, such as celiac, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, etc.). Happily, lentils are on the “legal” list and for good reason – they are an inexpensive powerhouse of nutrition.
When properly prepared through soaking, lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins and minerals like iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. And, pairing them with homemade bone broth provides even more nutritional support, as well as greatly enhances their flavor.
Eating food this delicious, nutritious and heart warming brings a smile to my face, and my family’s too – that’s the best part of all!
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 8oz Italian sausage links, diced (or ground sausage meat)
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 5 cups chicken stock (homemade stock is best!)
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5 cups stemmed and torn kale (or greens of choice)
- In the morning on the day you plan to make this stew, place lentils in a large bowl, cover with warm water and stir in vinegar. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and leave it on your countertop for 8-12 hours. Then, drain the lentils and rinse them well. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven (or large stockpot) heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced sausage (or ground sausage meat) and cook until browned (about 6-8 minutes).
- Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add the soaked and drained lentils, chicken stock and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add the diced sweet potatoes. Bring stew back to a gentle simmer and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the lentils and sweet potatoes reach desired tenderness.
- Then, turn off the heat, and stir in the kale. Cover and allow the kale to wilt in the hot stew about 5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy with a side of hot buttered rolls. This dish definitely warms the heart and tummy! Enjoy!
Recipe Variation: Love bacon? Create a whole new flavor profile by substituting the sausage with 4-5 slices of nitrate-free bacon. Simply dice the bacon and sauté in your Dutch oven or stockpot. Then follow the rest of the recipe instructions as outlined above.
P.S. You can also substitute carrots for the sweet potatoes. And substitute the kale with any favorite green, such as collard, mustard or Swiss chard.
Any suggestions for making this in a crock pot?
Hi, Nicci. I haven’t tried in the crockpot, but you could give it go. I’d personally sauté the sausage and veggies first though before transferring to the crockpot with the stock and lentils. Watch the cook time – start with 3 hours on low and continue checking every half-hour or so to determine with the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked to desired tenderness. Let us know how it turns out if you decide to experiment. Blessings, Kelly 🙂
Kelly…I made this right after you posted it, and it was a hit in our home. It will be a great main course to take to people when I do meals for them. Thanks for your great ideas!
Thanks, Hallie. I love that you are ministering to others. God bless you in your faithful service! 🙂
This was my first recipe using lentils. My family and I absolutely loved this! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m fairly new to the world of real food, but your blog has been so helpful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and heart.
Thank you, Jenn! I am so happy your first recipe with lentils was a success. That’s wonderful because you’ve now opened up a whole new real food door – I love it when we can cook good food that helps our family expand their culinary horizons. 🙂 Appreciate you taking the time to leave a kind note. Blessings, Kelly
Such an awesome recipe! I made it tonight for my family and we all loved it!!! It was perfect! I can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow!
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a kind note, Jessica! So glad you all enjoyed this recipe. Blessings, Kelly 🙂
Thank you for the recipe. I made it tonight and we really enjoyed it. We have tried many of your recipes and they all turn out excellent. My favorite go to site for recipes. So thanks.
Thanks so much, Wendy! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipes. Thank you so much for taking time to leave a kind encouraging note! 🙂 Blessings, Kelly