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This French Lentil Stew is chock full of good stuff. Make a batch now and freeze some for later. Look for French (small green) lentils. Most other types can get mushy.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 6 cups


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ cups French lentils
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and fennel until lightly browned, 7-10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook until it starts to brown, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and lentils. Stir in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the lentils are al dente, 20-25 minutes.
  5. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: (1 cup):

  • Calories: 290
  • Total fat: 10 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 40 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Sodium: 380 mg

Photo: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.