French Lentil and Portabella Stew

by on February 1, 2006
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After seeing several recipes that call for French (or Puy) lentils, I bought a bag of them…and then promptly forgot where I’d seen the recipes. So I searched and searched yesterday for some delicious way to cook these interesting looking lentils, but nothing I saw looked like what I had conjured up in my imagination: a hearty, French country-style stew with fresh rosemary and mushrooms and wine. That’s when I realized that I already had the recipe in my head. Why was I looking for something in print to validate my vision? So I set off to the kitchen to cook this stew the way I wanted to, writing down the ingredients as I went.

French Lentil and Portabella Stew

I cooked this early in the afternoon and left it simmering on the stove for a while. One of the neighbor kids dropped by and marveled, “It smells delicious in here.” And indeed, it did!

This would be excellent served with a hearty chunk of bread (unfortunately, we didn’t have any.) I served it alongside some steamed, home-grown broccoli (with cashew sauce). It made a simple, delicious meal.

Now for the Children’s Review: E. loved it! She told me to be sure to add it to the Kid-Friendly list. I even packed some in a thermos for her lunch today.

About the lentils: French lentils hold their shape better than regular brown lentils, but if you can’t find any, brown lentils will work in this too. Just adjust the cooking time as regular lentils cook more quickly.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SusanV August 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

Here are the old comments that were left before the blog was moved in 2010:

Miriam said…

I do love the texture of french lentils, but I rarely end up buying them. It’s plain old green lentils around here. That really looks and sounds delicious!
7:34 PM, February 01, 2006

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Danika said…

I love this one! You should definitely consider it for your book!!
10:57 PM, May 12, 2007

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Hardcore Herbicore said…

I made this soup last night, minus the wine (only cause I didn’t have any)..OMG…FANTASTIC!!! I would have taken a picture, but I couldn’t find my camera…however, you are wonderful. I can read on your blog for hours. I cook every night…and your recipes have, by far, been the BEST!!!
Your admire,
Krista
(Hardcore Herbivore)
9:40 AM, October 23, 2008

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ksisley said…

I made this yesterday and it is sooo good. I doubled the mushrooms and lentils, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. I used a Cabernet – Merlot for the wine, and it added a twinge of sweetness that really gives the stew that extra something.

My dad avoids just about anything with the words ‘fat free’ or ‘vegan’ in the title, so of course I brought him some to see if I could slide it by his discriminating tastes. Worked like a charm!! He liked it so much he had two helpings and even asked me to write down the recipe!
6:41 PM, March 17, 2009

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Spritie said…

Made this for the family for mothers days. Usually they are all pretty big meat eaters, and avoid anything I cook especially as it is usually vegan + healthy. But they ate it and enjoyed. Thank you so much for this recipe.

Though I did change it a bit by not putting in the red wine and adding a few more veggies.

Delicious : )
11:28 AM, May 11, 2009

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Anonymous said…

I LOVED THIS RECIPE. I have to say this is one of my favorite soup recipes I have tried since going vegan 2 years ago! I am a huge soup eater! It kind of tastes like a fall dish, Thanksgiving-ish. It was amazing. I’m so glad I tried it.
3:17 PM, July 04, 2009

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2 Vanessa Carpenter January 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

I bought a huge bag of red lentils and craving portabellos, I have made this soup twice now and both myself and my husband are in love with it, its so incredibly good!

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3 Sam May 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

Oh Susan, you never cease to amaze me! This soup was divine. I usually don’t eat non-spicy things, but i had all the ingredients so i decided to go for it. It was awesome!

I used fresh rosemary and thyme and i think that’s what really did the trick, nothing beats fresh herbs, they make everything better!

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4 Izzy July 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I love Puy Lentils, and this sounds great! They’re also great chilled in bulgar wheat free Tabbouleh, or with a simple salad dressing (and a poached egg for non vegans!)

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5 Linda February 1, 2011 at 11:39 am

Is there a difference in French lentils from the orange or green ones?

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6 SusanV February 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

Linda, French lentils (or puy lentils) are firmer than other lentils after being cooked. Since they’re sometimes called green lentils, I don’t want to confuse you. I think of the “regular” lentils that I can buy in the grocery store as being brown, while these are actually kind of green/black. Here’s a page about lentils that should clear up any confusion: http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–975/all-about-lentils.asp

By the way, the orange ones are the softest of all, falling apart and creating a thick sauce.

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7 Linda February 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

Sorry, I just saw the note you put up way below the recipe! lol

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8 SusanV February 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

Linda, I didn’t notice that before, either! :-)

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9 Shannon February 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hey Susan

This sounds awesome. Will you be offering the nutrition info for this recipe?

Thanks

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10 Dana February 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Read this while I was eating… your Lentil Barley Soup (April ’10) and before my bowl was dry I wanted to rush right home and create another warming pot. The boss had other ideas, so I’ll make it on Saturday and toast you with a bit of that red wine! Thank you for sharing your time and recipes with us. Your ideas have graced our table 2-3 times a week since I’ve discovered you and my family couldn’t be happier! Thanks for making cooking fun again for me.

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11 Julie & Marty July 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

My husband made this last night. He loved it. We didn’t have the wine or the French lentils but it turned out just fine. Very savory.

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12 Susan Simon August 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Just made this soup – added some spinach and kale at the end – so delicious – thank you!!!

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13 Millsnborne August 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

I made this last night, it was fantastic. I use regular lentils about a half cup. Did not have any potatoes around so I use some elbow macaroni and I double the mushroom. It was delish. Even the hubs had some. Am not a vegetarian by any means but I love great food. Thx

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14 Taylor G. December 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

This is an absolutely delightful stew to cook and to eat! I adore mushrooms, so I doubled the quantity, using sliced baby portabellas. I had a few ounces of whole wheat rigatoni from a previous dinner, and sliced those very think in place of the potato. A nice organic Merlot was just the touch of umami that pulled everything together. Thanks so much these high quality recipes that never fail to please my family!

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