This recipe came about when I was under siege with one of those winter colds, wanting comfort and nourishment but nothing heavy. Soup was what was called for.
Fortunately the freezer still held a small amount of beef bone broth (mineral and nutrient rich, dense with flavor without being heavy or difficult to digest. The pantry provided brown lentils, that earthy go-to source of protein. The refrigerator offered a head of bok choi from a recent CSA share box. Perfect. (Note that other broths would work here, likewise other toothsome greens such as kale or collards. If you're okay eating meat though, the richness of a good bone broth is hard to beat, here).
The result was one of those dishes that intensely satisfied body and soul, without being too heavy; substantial without any cloying richness.
3, give or take, depending on appetites
small onion, finely chopped
cloves garlic, minced
liquid (I used 1-1/2 cups beef bone broth and 2-1/2 cups water
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and lentils and stir to combine. Let cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the liquid, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer. Add salt and a good grinding of black pepper, the paprika, stir, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes
Stir in the bok choi. Cook for another 10 minutes and check the lentils for doneness. If still hard, cook for another 5-10 minutes and check again - the goal is to have the lentils be firm but not hard, and still have a good amount of broth.
When done, add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, stir and taste. Adjust seasoning and Worcestershire sauce to taste.