Posted by: A Part of the Solution | April 13, 2012

Sausage and Lentil Stew

This recipe for Sausage and Lentil Stew calls for lentils du Puy. Sometimes lentils du Puy are called French lentils. Sometimes they’re called purple French lentils. Lentils du Puy cost more than other lentils. But they are the right lentils for this Sausage and Lentil Stew.

Why would anyone go to the trouble of seeking out these hard-to-find lentils du Puy? What could make the lowly lentil so much more expensive? How much better are they really in this Sausage and Lentil Stew? Lentils du Puy do not fall apart and become mushy when they are fully cooked. Lentils du Puy retain their shape and have a delightful, silky texture at the same time. These two characteristics make them well worth the extra effort. Try them in this recipe for Sausage and Lentil Stew, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Sausage and Lentil Stew

For simmering the lentils:

1 lb lentils du Puy, picked through for stones and rinsed well

1 bay leaf

1 carrot, broken into 3-4 pieces

1 celery stalk, broken into 3-4 pieces

1 small onion, studded with 3 whole cloves (if you’ve got them)

1 bulb garlic, outer papers gently rubbed off to leave the bulb whole

For the stew:

3 TBSP drippings or oil

2 large onions, peeled and chopped into small squares

5 small carrots, or 3 large, peeled and chopped small

2 stalks celery, chopped to match the carrot pieces

4 jalapenos, and/or 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped small

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 lb loose sausage, mild or spicy as preferred–or 1 package vegetarian sausage links, cut into 3-4 pieces each

1 TBSP soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine, or 2 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp rosemary, crushed in your hands before adding

1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 quart stock, mushroom or beef works well here

For the garnish:

hard cheese, grated


parsley, chopped fine

in a 3 or 4 quart pan place the lentils, the simmering vegetables and enough water to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring this pot to a boil and reduce it immediately to a low simmer.

In a 5 or 6 quart heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil or drippings over medium heat. Add the onions and allow them to become translucent. Add the carrots next and let them cook for 5 minutes. Next add the celery and peppers to the vegetables you’re sautéing. Allow them to cook for another five minutes. Now add the garlic and the sausage. If the sausage was ‘loose’, pinch it into 1″ pieces as you add it to the pot and allow them to cook for several minutes without stirring, so that they retain some of their size. Add the seasonings and the rest of the ingredients from the stew list. Turn the heat to medium low.

Strain the lentils and discard the simmering vegetables. Add the lentils to the stew pot. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for twenty minutes. The lentils are done when you can press one between your tongue and palate and it flattens and dissolves. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. Pass grated hard cheese at the table to dress each bowl of stew, if desired. Or you may garnish with fresh, chopped parsley. Yum!


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