This French Lentil Stew makes a cozy one-pot meal

It’s chock full of good stuff. Make a batch now and freeze some for later.

The recipe in this post was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Click here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe.

French Lentil Stew

No fennel at home? You can replace it with 3 stalks of celery.

Time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 cups.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced (or 3 more stalks celery)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ cups French lentils
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper 

  1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and fennel until lightly browned, 7-10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook until it starts to brown, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and lentils. Stir in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the lentils are al dente, 20-25 minutes.
  5. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 290  
  • Total fat: 10 g  
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g 
  • Carbs: 40 g 
  • Fiber: 8 g  
  • Total sugar: 6 g  
  • Added sugar: 0 g  
  • Protein: 13 g  
  • Sodium: 380 mg 
Photo: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

This recipe first appeared in the November 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Find this article interesting and useful?
Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers regularly get sound, timely information about staying healthy with diet and exercise, delicious recipes, and the inside scoop on healthy and unhealthy foods in supermarkets and restaurants. If you don’t already subscribe to the world’s most popular nutrition newsletter, click here to join hundreds of thousands of fellow health-conscious consumers.

Have a comment, question, or idea?
Send us an email at While we can’t respond to every email, we’ll be sure to read your message.