Lentil & Sausage Stew
Inspired by Elizabeth Bard's recipe in Dinner Chez Moi: 50 French Secrets to Joyful Eating and Entertaining
Servings 10 people
- 2 lbs of sausages*
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 3 Tbls olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 large carrots peeled and cubed
- 4 stalks of celery cubed
- 1 large fennel bulb remove the chalky stalks but keep the fronds
- 2 cups of lentils I use a combination of black beluga and green puy
- 2 cups of pureed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped.
- 2 Tbl of tomato paste
- 6 cloves of garlic more if you are using a mild sausage
- ½-tsp cayenne pepper
- ½-tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 branches of fresh thyme tied together
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- ¼-cup of Pernod optional but highly recommended
- 10 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour cream
- Chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the sausages on all sides, then remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set aside (don’t slice them — you’ll only start noshing on them as you continue to cook.)
- Pour off all but 3 Tbl of the accumulated juices. Add the anchovy fillets and stir gently until they begin to melt into the oil. Then add the onion and garlic and saute until soft (about 2 minutes), adding a pinch of salt halfway through. Add the celery and fennel and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the lentils and stir to combine before adding the tomato paste. Toss to mix so that the lentil/onion mixture is coated. Add the spices, then cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add the wine, Pernod (if using), and tomatoes and let simmer while you use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up all the lovely bits on the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
- Add the carrots and nestle the thyme and bay leaves into the mixture. Add the stock and bring to a low simmer, stirring to combine. Slice the sausage and add to the stew.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid of the pot slightly ajar for 45-55 minutes until the lentils are soft. Serve in deep soup bowls garnished with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
*The kind of sausage I use varies widely depending on where I am when I make this stew. Bard recommends a “good quality smoked sausage,” which in her Provencal location means those gorgeous French garlic sausages. In Latvia, I tend to use a traditional link of Slavic kielbasa (kолбаса), which is milder, so I up the garlic. In America, I’m fortunate to live near Pekarski’s Sausage in South Deerfield, MA. They make fantastic sausages and kielbasa, and I use a combination of their Italian and smoked kielbasa. When I'm in the US and can afford it, I order a large Fabrique Delices Garlic Sausage, which is pricey but goes beautifully with the lentils! Like all such stews, this is even better the next day, and the next, and the next…so make a ton.