Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lentil Noodle Soup/Stew

Once again we had forgotten to take any sort of meat out of the freezer, so I had to think of what else we had on hand for dinner. I realize vegetarians eat meat-free meals all the time, but for some reason it's so hard for me to come up with filling meat-free meals. I really would like to try to eat some more vegetarian based meals, so maybe in the future you'll see more of those.

I had bought some lentils awhile ago and really wanted to try using them in a meal so I went on a search on the Internet. I came across this recipe but quickly realized I didn't have any beef broth at home, nor did I have 4 cups of chicken stock. I did have 2 cups of chicken stock and just decided to add some water and more spices to the mix to add more flavor. (I would really recommend trying to use the 4 cups of some sort of broth/stock like the recipe called for). The results were delicious! And it really thickened up so it was really filling. We also had some leftover cooked penne noodles so I added that to the mix as well. Below is what I ended up throwing together.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh spinach
2-3 cups cooked pasta of your choice - I used penne

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the oil, onion, carrots and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add the broth/water and bring mixture to a boil. Add the lentils, tomato sauce, ketchup, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add in the 2 cups of fresh spinach and allow to wilt into the stew. Add the cooked pasta and heat through.

I served this with some really easy cheesy, garlic-butter Bisquick biscuits.

2 cups Original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Heat oven to 450ºF. Stir Bisquick mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 9 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir together butter and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits.

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