I love the combination of couscous and puy or French lentils. This dish is an old favourite and brings inspiration from flavours found in France. It is surprisingly simple to prepare and packed full of nourishing ingredients, you can't go wrong!.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Best Lentil Recipes, French Lentil Soup, Traditional Lentil Soup Recipes
Rinse the lentils and set aside. This is important to make sure no tiny little pebbles appear in your stew.
Heat the olive oil to medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger and carrot and fry for an additional 1 minute. Next, add coriander powder and cayenne (if using) and fry for 30 more seconds to release the flavour.
Add the water and vegetable stock, and increase the heat to bring it to a boil. Add the lentils and bring to a boil again, then turn down the heat to medium and place the lid half on the saucepan to let the mixture simmer.
Let the lentil stew simmer for about 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through and the consistency resembles a stew. Continue to check and stir the pot frequently throughout the cooking process.
While the lentils are cooking prepare the couscous. Add the dry couscous to a medium or large bowl, add the boiled water (and sprinkle of salt if desired) and let sit covered with a plate for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove the coverage plate and fluff the couscous with a fork. Do not let steam for longer than 5 minutes, or this will result in soggy and clumpy couscous. Set aside.
When the stew is finished cooking, serve the stew on top of the couscous. Add a squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle of chopped parsley before serving.
*homemade stock is the best, second-best option is any quality organic stock
How Can I Make This French Lentil Stew Vegan?
The original recipe used shredded Gruyere cheese which was melted overtop and helped to bind the lentils and couscous together. I've opted to share a vegan version of this soup. Nutritional yeast is a great vegan alternative, but if you are looking for that melted cheese consistency you may have to look into a vegan cheese alternative.
How Can I Make This French Lentil Stew Gluten-Free?
This lentil stew can be made gluten-free by replacing the couscous with either quinoa or brown rice. For those that are highly gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease make sure you check any store-bought vegetable stock to make sure it does not contain any gluten products.
Can I Use Brown Lentils Instead of Puy?
Sometimes Puy or French lentils can be hard to come by. In my younger years the easier to find green lentils were often used as a replacement in this dish. Green lentils can go soggy if they are overcooked, so decrease the cooking time to 30 minutes.
What Toppings Go With This Lentil Stew?
This lentil stew goes great with melted cheese or vegan cheese. Lately, I have been loving the simplicity of topping it with a little bit of chopped parsley. A squeeze of lemon juice will help enhance the absorption of the iron from the lentils.