Favorite Sunday Recipe

It rained yesterday evening and when the temperature dipped below freezing over night we were left with a sheen of ice over everything. Lucinda and I are cozied up inside watching too much tv as usual, so I thought I’d make one of my favorite warm-up recipes, courtesy of Ina Garten (really, i’m obsessed with her and her blog is the cutest). I always have the ingredients for this on hand, they are pantry staples. I usually halve the recipe if it’s just for two people. Don’t forget the vinegar at the end! – it really brightens up the flavor. It would be easy to make this vegetarian, just switch the chicken broth out for a veggie version.

Stewed Lentils & Tomatoes (Serves 6 to 8)

Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Photo: Quentin Bacon

2 teaspoons good olive oil
2 cups large-diced yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups large-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup French green lentils (7 ounces)
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Meanwhile, place the canned plum tomatoes, including the juice, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Rinse and pick over the lentils to make sure there are no stones in the package.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering. Remove from the heat and allow the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, season to taste, and serve hot.

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