Irish Lentil Stew

by Sarah on March 16, 2013 · 8 comments

In telling you about my Vegan St. Patrick’s Day cooking class at Whole Foods, I may have forgotten to mention that in the culinary world of our local store I am now on par with the other one-named greats like Giada or Julia.

Just saying.

One thing I know I forgot to mention with the recipe of the easy, light, and beautiful(ly strange) creation that is Roasted Cauiflower and Fennel Colcannon was the option of serving it just alongside–so close it is practically underneath–a spoonful (or three) of the Irish Lentil Stew I also taught and served at class.

I also definitely forgot to give you that recipe.

And by ‘forgot‘ I mean ‘was overwhelmed by the length of the post already and needed to take a break.’

Or maybe I was busy perfecting my Irish jig and kissing the Blarney stone, wishing it was the Irish cop from Bridesmaids.

You decide.

But, back to the stew.

In my research–because I am a foodie nerd and do research on these types of things–I learned that in its traditional form, Irish stew was really nothing more than meat, onions, and (maybe) carrots. Potatoes were introduced after they jumped on a ship and sailed up from South America in the 16th Century.

That was simply NOT going to work for Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong Add As Many Ingredients To The Pot As Possible.

The Irish also don’t typically season anything very heavily because they are covering it in butter and cheese and although I am an under-salter, I am by all accounts an over-seasoner.

So I got a little wild.

[But not as wild as a leprechaun bathing in a pot of gold or anything.]

First, I took out the meat and I replaced it with lentils.

And mushrooms.*

*These are from my hometown. Gotta love Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the mushroom capital of the world.

Then I added cabbage. Because what’s more Irish than cabbage?*

*Lots of things actually: corned beef, red hair (unless you are me), limericks, Guinness, last names that start with ‘O’

Yet, somehow, I ended up taking a bare-bones traditionalist concept and turning into a rather meaty, meatless stew, that, as I mentioned yesterday, my (actually Irish) roommate declared not only satisfactory, but worthy of a pint of stout.

Did I encourage everyone attending the class to purchase a pint of Guinness before coming? Yes. Did I also encourage them to bring me a kombucha from the tap at the Whole Foods bar? Of course.

Did anyone take me up on my offer?

No luck o’ the Irish for me. :(

But the luck can still be with you,

Because I have made Irish stew

Even vegans can eat–

There is no meat!

Happy St. Patty’s Day to You!

Irish Lentil Stew

[Makes 12 cups]

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  1. In a large soup pot, combine garlic, bay leaves, and seasonings, with ½ cup water.
  2. Simmer until garlic becomes fragrant and soft.
  3. Stir in potatoes and carrots.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes, adding broth if vegetables begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Stir in lentils, mushrooms, onions, and cabbage.
  6. Add remaining broth and water to the pot.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 30-45 minutes, until lentils are cooked.
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