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Lentil Tomato Stew

3 cups water
1 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, undrained
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Zinfandel
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed, drained, and picked over
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
Chopped fresh basil or parsley, for garnish


In a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker, combine the water, tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, red wine, basil, thyme, and crushed red pepper. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stir to blend in the tomato paste. Add the lentils, onion, carrots, celery and garlic.

Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 10 to 12 hours on low (200 degrees F), 4 to 5 hours on high (300 degrees F. ). Stir in the salt.

Serve the stew in bowls, sprinkled with chopped basil.

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