When I make lentil anything, my husband usually puts on his long-suffering face. Although you don’t know him, I am sure you know what kind of expression I am talking about. It’s the one that says, “You are making me eat healthy food again. I will eat it for the sake of the children.” He will dutifully eat a portion of the offensive food and then it’s up to me to figure out how to deal with any leftovers. And he expects a roast the next day to make up for his meatless sacrifice.
I got him this time, though. I threw a meaty ham bone into the crock pot with all of the lentils. Right before dinner, I pulled out all of the bone and then cut up the ham that fell off the bone. The meal was no longer meatless by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still a mainly lentil dish. It helped that I used pink lentils this time, too. The brighter color was much more pleasing.
I had to actually fight to get any of this stew for lunch the next day. Even my sons, who have been sufficiently exposed to lentils and beans so as not to complain about seeing them (thanks to that long-suffering husband of mine), got into the leftovers. That makes this meal a resounding success.
Now, I am going to be honest with you, folks. It’s hard to make some foods look appetizing. Lentils cooked all day in the slow cooker tend to mush a bit. They lose their shape. If you use green or brown lentils, Oy! You end up with something that looks like something that shouldn’t be mentioned on a food blog. I did my best here. There’s even a bit of parsley thrown on top for good measure. It is what it is, though. I wish that food blogs were multi-sensory experiences so you could smell the fantastic aroma of this cooking and then taste this great comfort food.
- 3½ cups water or broth
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 tsp thyme
- dash Tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 pound lentils, rinsed
- 1 meaty ham bone
- Combine all ingredients in a crock pot.
- Cook on low 10-12 hours, adding more liquid if necessary.
- Salt and pepper to taste.