Italian lentil tomato stew

It’s the beginning of 2020; it’s a brand new decade. A new year, a fresh start for so many. Many feel the need to start a new diet, a new exercise regime or even an alternative eating plan. Not me! I may consider changes in other aspects of my life. However, when it comes to eating, nothing deters me from my favourite style of food – good old rustic southern Italian cookery.

When it comes to a cold winter night, it’s common to have a hearty thick soup placed in front of you to warm up those cockles in Italy. Italians don’t tend to do liquid-based soups. They prefer to thicken them up with veggies, pulses, pasta or my recent favourite discovery – stale bread. It delivers a different texture while being a great cheap alternative to bulk up a dish.
So with that in mind, I came up with this Italian lentil tomato stew with what I had leftover in the fridge and kitchen cupboards.
Also, as it’s unintentionally vegan too, this is perfect for those who want to try out Veganuary with the flavours of southern Italy. I say that’s January winner. Go on, give a try.

Italian lentil tomato stew (2/3 people)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50ml red wine
  • 1 x 400g tinned peeled tomatoes
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tinned lentils, drained
  • 100g cavolo nero or kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 large slice of toasted sourdough.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  • First, DRIZZLE extra virgin olive oil into a wide saucepan. When heated, ADD the onion and carrot on low heat. FRY until the vegetables have softened.
  • Next, ADD the garlic and fry together for 5 minutes. POUR in the red wine; turn up the heat slightly and COOK until the wine has EVAPORATED.
  • The peeled tomatoes, next go in. SOFTEN and MASH them with the back of a wooden spoon. POUR in the vegetable stock. Bring the sauce to a BOIL and then SIMMER for 15-20 minutes.
  • Next, STIR in the lentils, COVER and COOK all together for another 10 minutes.
  • After, DROP in the cavolo nero and MIX all the ingredients together. COOK for another 5 minutes.
  • Finally, take the pan off the heat and STIR in the rough chunks of the bread.
  • Serve with a DRIZZLE of extra virgin olive oil.

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