Comforting, soul-soothing lentil stew is full of tender lentils, ham, carrots, celery, in a hearty tomato sauce and so thick it is almost fork-able.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced fully-cooked, leftover ham
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 2 medium onions peeled and diced
- 1 stalk of celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound lentils rinsed, drained and picked over.
- 1 can tomato puree 14.5 ounces
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons ham base
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 sprig fresh rosemary, crushed
- 1 Bay leaf
Swirl the extra virgin olive oil into a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium high heat. Add the ham to the pan and stir, frying the ham until it takes on some colour and is fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the diced carrots, onions, and celery. Sautee the mixture, stirring from time to time, until the onions become translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and raise the heat to high. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat again to medium low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. If the stew begins to dry out too much before the lentils are tender, stir in a little additional water to help loosen it up and add moisture until everything is quite tender.