French Lentil and Portabella Stew

(from megc’s recipe box)

Source: fat free vegan blog (from RecipeThing user bramble)

Categories: stew, vegan, vegetarian


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces Portabella mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (200 g) French lentils, rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or about 2 tsp. dried, crushed or crumbled)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 small or 1 large red potato, cubed
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, begin cooking the onions over medium-high heat. Add a little water, if you like, to prevent sticking. Stir the onions until they begin to brown (we’re going for caramelized onions without the oil), about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, covered but stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their juices.

  2. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth (I used Un-Chicken broth from Imagine Foods, but you can use your favorite broth). Stir in the lentils and remaining ingredients, except the wine and salt. Cover and cook until the lentils are just tender (they’d be al dente if they were pasta), about 20 minutes.

  3. When the lentils are barely tender, add the red wine. (I used a nice yet inexpensive Merlot, but you can use whatever you like, as long it is a wine you can drink—not one of those horrible “cooking wines” you find in the grocery store. If you are not a wine drinker, you can leave this out, but I like the taste it gives to the stew.) If more liquid is needed, add a little more broth. Check the seasonings and add salt to taste. Cover and simmer until lentils and vegetables are all tender, at least 15 more minutes.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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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