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Author Notes: 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.
Serves 3, give or take, depending on appetites
tablespoons olive oil
small onion, finely chopped
cloves garlic, minced
cup lentils, rinsed
cups liquid (I used 1-1/2 cups beef bone broth and 2-1/2 cups water
cups chopped bok choi
teaspoon smoked paprika
teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best One-Pot Meal