lentil stew with kale and potatoes

Right. So here I am. I have been busy with many things: settling in to my new apartment and roommates, getting my wisdom teeth out, Christmas gift making and travels. Cooking, and taking pictures of what little I do cook, has been smack dab at the bottom of my to-do list.

But the upcoming new year, the self-reflection that goes with it, as well as the incredible gorging I accomplished over Christmas (seriously, I deserve a medal) has made me crave meals made from things that have never seen a box. And so I give you this recipe. It called for spinach, but I used kale in an effort to shove more vitamins into me. Also, my new market didn't have mint so I left it out and that was fine. What they DID have was crazy cheap feta at the deli counter. I got 0.8 lb for something like $2.38. Take that, Jewel-Osco.

lentil stew with kale and potatoes
adapted from this recipe from Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth (I ended up adding more at the end)
1 cup lentils, rinsed, picked over
8 ounces red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-2 medium carrots, chopped
1 lemon
6 ounces torn fresh kale leaves (about 8 cups)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and stir until become translucent (about 5 minutes), add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add potatoes; cook uncovered until potatoes and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel from lemon; squeeze enough juice from lemon to measure 2 tablespoons. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, kale and cayenne to stew. Cover and simmer stew until kale wilts and is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Mix in mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before serving.) 

Spoon stew into large soup bowls. Sprinkle feta cheese over, if desired.

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