Famously Delicious Lentil and “Sausage” Stew (Vegan)

“In my meat-eating days, I was famous well known for my sausage, chicken and lentil stew. It was something I had perfected over my 15-year marriage and it was on top of the request list for friends and guests.  When I started my vegetarian lifestyle, I thought this would be an easy adaption.  I made a few good meatless lentils stews, but I couldn’t seem to find quite the right balance to give it that over-the-top taste I was looking for . . . until now. These past few days we had our first Seattle snow of the season.  It was followed by rain, which froze and created a terrible ice storm which left 225,000 folks, including me, without power.  Thankfully, I have a gas range.  So with plenty of time and no technology to divert my attention to other matters, I created, adapted and finally got this one right.  This is a close meatless comparable to my famous well-known meaty version.  The flavors are almost exact but this is much healthier and dare I say it . . . better? Yes. It’s better. It’s downright delish if I can say so myself.  Pair this with a rustic loaf of bread and you got yourself a famous winner! There, I said it.  It should be famous.”

Lentil and "Sausage" Stew

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz package of ground sausage style veggie protein (such as Gimme Lean brand)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups no-chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup dried French green lentils (puy)
  • 3 tbsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce (I like Annie’s brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups celery (about 5 medium), sliced lengthwise then in thick slices
  • 2 1/2 cups carrots (about 7 medium), thick ones sliced in half lengthwise then in thick slices

Directions

  1. In large dutch oven over medium, heat olive oil.  Add in veggie protein and crumble into chunks with a spatula while cooking.  Continue to cook and stir (as if cooking ground meat) being careful not to let it stick too much to the bottom of the pan, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add in onion and garlic along with a little of the broth, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  With your spatula, scrape the pan to lift any bits of veggie protein that may be sticking, adding a splash or two of broth if necessary.  Continue to saute onions and garlic, until onions are tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add in cumin, oregano, thyme, pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir until spices are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add in tomato paste and lentils and stir to combine then add in the rest of the broth.  Scrape bottom of pan to get small bits unstuck and combine all the ingredients.
  4. Add in worcestershire sauce, bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes.  Add in carrots and celery, cover and simmer about 20-30 minutes more or until veggies and lentils are completely tender.
  5. Taste for salt and serve with a nice thick piece of rustic whole grain bread.

Footnotes:

If you have not discovered tomato paste in a tube, your missign out!  You know how you always use just a little bit of the can?  I always have the best intentions of saving it and re-using.  But I swear its one of the many items I throw away when cleaning my fridge Sunday night.  Someone tipped me off that they sell tomato paste in a tube.  You use what you need, re-cap it and save it up to 4 weeks. Genius!

I find my veggie protein in the small section of a convential big chain grocery store.  My store stashes it in the section by the cheese.  In that aisle, they have the soy cheese, then they have miso and veggie protein.  It’s packaged like ground sausage.  I have also seen it in the refrigerated health food section.

Veggie protein sticks to the pan like very lean ground meat would.  It contains very little fat so you may need to add more oil or a little of the broth.  Try not to add to much while you are cooking it at first or it may get gummy.  Once you cook it, it’ll do just fine when you add the broth to make the soup.

Lentil and "Sausage" Stew-ingredients

Lentil and sausage stew-celeryLentil and sausage stew-carrotsLentil and "Sausage" Stew

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beans & Lentils, Recipes, Soup, Vegan

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7 Comments on “Famously Delicious Lentil and “Sausage” Stew (Vegan)”

  1. January 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Yum! looks really good!! I used to have the same problem with tomato paste…so now I freeze them. I wrap them in one tablespoon portions (those clingy saran warps), and they last forever. I’ve never seen the tube stuff. I wonder if they are even available in Canada. I’ll have to look out for them.

    • January 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Oh, the freezing idea is great too! I’ll have to try that. The tubes are hidden in the tomato paste aisle. I have spent years in that aisle and never seen them. Then when someone told me about them I actually looked and there they were, taking all but a few small inches of shelf space at the top. I found one that is sundried tomato paste too and that one is really good. Won’t work for everything but has a really good flavor.

  2. January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Ooo, sundried tomato paste? Ok, I will look very hard for them now 🙂
    I have to say your blog looks amazing! I am just new at this and have spent way too much time on the looks of my blog and still it doesn’t look as good as everybody else’s. But I’ve given it a rest so I can put some content…so I’m really excited that some body is actually reading it. Thanks for the likes and comments :))

  3. January 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Congratulations! You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Cathy from http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com. For details see Cathy’s post on 26th January:
    http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/versatile-blogger-award/
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog, so played along with this award thing… feel free to do with it what you will! 🙂

  4. January 30, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    I made a big batch of French lentil stew yesterday and was thinking how lovely it would be with some “sausages”. I saw Nigella do a lentil & sausage casserole and it got me thinking, now you doing this, food serendipity!!

  5. Bridget
    January 31, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Wonderful recipe!! I went to two stores and couldn’t find “sausage” flavored ground soy protein (but I’ll be keeping an eye out) I followed the same recipe with the exception of substituting Tofurkey italian “sausage” links, halved and sliced (into half moons) some of them actually ended up crumbling down into grounds. I served this dish at a potluck full of hungry sailors and no one mentioned anything about the non-sausage. It was a hit!! Thank you so much for recipe, it will be a winter favorite for a very long time!!

    • January 31, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Wow Bridget! Thank you for the wonderful feedback on this recipe! I love hearing when folks made something and how it turned out. I am so pleased that a group of hungry sailors loved it. That’s wonderful and you made my day. Thanks!

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