Mom never owned a slow cooker (and we’ve talked about her and her dislike for pressure cookers – that she passed on to us), so the lentils she would make about 2 times a month, was slow-cooked on the stove top. That recipe I’ll share with you another day. For now, here’s my take on what I believe is one of the simplest ways to prepare comforting lentils from scratch.
2 lbs dried lentils
1 large carrot (cubed)
2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
3 stalks celery (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
2 scallions (chopped)
4-6 sprigs thyme
4 tablespoon parsley (divided)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups vegetable stock
3-4 cups water
3 pimento peppers (chopped)
1 tablespoon Molasses
2-3 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 tablespoon Caribbean browning
2 thick slices ginger
1/2 teaspoon Scorch Bonnet pepper flakes (optional)
6 cloves garlic (whole)
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the Caribbean Browning, vegetable stock and Worcestershire sauce you use. This will be a MASSIVE pot of lentils, so be prepared to freeze and reheat on a later date or make when you’re having a large crowd over for dinner.
Wash and soak the lentils in warm water for 15 minutes. There’s no need to soak overnight as we’re slow cooking.
Place the lentils (drained) in the slow cooker, followed by the pimento peppers, ginger, scallions, celery, 1/2 of the parsley, black pepper.. basically everything in the ingredients list.
Later on we’ll adjust the salt. If you’re doing this vegan, keep and eye on the ingredients in the Worcestershire sauce as you may have to avoid it.
With the carrot and butternut squash, I like putting in bigger cubes as it will maintian a bit of texture later on as we slow cook this.
Stir well and place the lid on. Setting on high.
You can walk away form it at this point.
6 hours later (watch the video below) and this should be tender, tasty and thick! Don’t forget to fish out the thyme sprigs and ginger and toss before serving. Yea, taste for salt too and adjust to your liking.
Top with the remainder of the parsley and enjoy. NOTE! For a more grainy lentil, cook for less time and cut back the water by 3/4 cup. Yes you can use Veg (or Chicken) stock instead of water, but be mindful of the sodium content as it will affect how salty the final dish is.
Freeze the remainder for another night you feel like having a comforting side or bowl of lentils you made from scratch.
Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/