Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Delicious summer lentil stew

I know summer isn't really 'stew' season, but I love them all year round.  And this lentil one seems lovely for a nice flavoursome evening meal.
This one is particularly nice because it's mega cheap!  I make it when I want something nice and I feel like cooking, but nothing too complicated.

All you'll need is:

1 can of lentils (any kind are nice, though puy lentils are my favourite - you can use dried lentils, but make sure you've soaked them for 24 hours)
1 large onion (or a bunch of shallotts are also nice)
1 courgette/zucchini (or chopped mushrooms, or cubed squash, or even sweet potato!)
1 small can of tinned ham ('s good, trust me here!)
1 cube of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of flour
water (the amount equivalent to the can of lentils or thereabouts)
Spices (I use thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf)

Soften the onions in a pot with some oil.  Add the chopped vegetables, and add spices such as thyme, rosemary, oregano if you'd like, and some pepper.  Make sure if you're using sweet potato or squash you boil it first and then add it, as you dont want it to take forever to cook through in the stew.  Add the can of lentils, and fill of the can with water and add this as well.  Give it a stir, and crumble in the stock cube.  At this point you can add a bay leaf.  Add in the tinned ham, cubed.  Then sprinkle over the flour to thicken the sauce, stirring it well and until there are no lumps left.  Bring this to a good heat.  Taste and see if it needs more spices - I wait until here to add more salt, as there is already a stock cube and ham and it may not need more.  Put the lid on and simmer for 45 minutes or so (or until you can't wait any longer!), and make sure you stir it once in a while.


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