This recipe calls for dried shiitake mushrooms and then you use the soaking liquid as part of the broth. If you prefer to use fresh shiitakes and some mushroom or vegie stock, that works too.

  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced, fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried, ground sage or rosemary
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup frozen peas

In a small bowl, combine the shiitake mushrooms and boiling water. Let stand for 20 minutes, or until softened. With your fingers, remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Trim any stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice the caps. Strain the reserved liquid through a fine-meshed sieve or coffee filter; set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, salt, cumin, ginger, sage, mushrooms, and reserved liquid or stock. Add 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook for 35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sugar; cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is lightly browned.

Add the peas to the stew, and cook for a few minutes to heat through. Serve the stew topped with the browned onions.

serves 4

Recipe adapted and photo – http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/recipes/lentil-tomato-stew-browned-onions/