This post and recipe are sponsored by Pacific Foods. Thank you for supporting our sponsors so we can bring you great recipes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
It’s no secret that I am a lover of lentils in all forms. You’ll find many lentil recipes on Cafe Johnsonia. I’m going to add another one – Braised Lentils and Vegetables. I was asked to develop a recipe using new Simply Stock from Pacific Foods.
I’ve already been a fan of Pacific Foods products for a long time, but I really love the new Simply Stock line of unsalted, organic, and 100% all natural chicken and vegetable stocks. For this recipe I used the vegetable stock which is made from celery, onion, carrots, leeks, and mushrooms. Perfect for braising and perfect for this recipe.
Braising usually involves searing meat or chicken, adding a little liquid, lowering the heat and letting it cook for a long time. I employed that same technique only I used fennel, carrots, and French green lentils. When you slow cook food, it really allows the flavors to develop. Lentils are perfect cooked this way. They really absorbed a ton of flavor from the vegetable stock as well as the fennel and carrots. Braising also brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables. The fennel was butter-soft and completely delicious.
This is a little different than a soup or stew in that it’s not meant to be too soupy. Only enough liquid should be added so that it cooks and isn’t dry, but not too much that you would need a spoon.
This might seem like more of a fall or winter dish, but it’s really good, too, for those chilly spring days and makes use of in-season early spring veggies. Other vegetables could be substituted and it would also be delicious with some chopped leafy greens added in. I ate mine in a shallow bowl by itself, but my family really liked having crusty bread with it. It’s a filling vegetarian main dish, but would also work well as a side. It’s very versatile!
I love these one-pot meals that are healthy and yummy!
You can find chicken or vegetable Simply Stock at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and other grocery stores around the country. See where it’s available near you.
- 1 Tablespoon oil (olive, avocado, or ghee)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces baby carrots
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into 8 wedges
- 1½ cups French green lentils du Puy (or brown lentils), rinsed well and drained
- ½ cup white wine (or water)
- 3 to 3½ cups Simply Stock
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- crusty bread, for serving
- Heat a deep 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and let heat for about 20-30 seconds. Add the diced onion. Lower the heat a bit and let cook, stirring often, until onion starts to soften and turn golden. Add the garlic and celery and continue cooking for about five more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrots, fennel, and lentils to the pan along with the wine. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring, until wine is completely absorbed.
- Add 3 cups of stock, thyme, and rosemary. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and lower heat to low. The liquid should barely simmer.
- Let cook for 40-45 minutes. Check lentils for doneness. They should not be mushy or too firm. Add the extra ½ cup stock, if needed. The liquid should be mostly absorbed and not be the least bit soupy. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley. Can be eaten as-is, or served with bread or as a side dish.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pacific Foods. All opinions are 100% my own.