Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens

photo: James Tse
Food Styling: Ian Muggridge
Prop Styling: Sabrina Linn

Recently, a high-end retailer decided to up charge collard  greens and sell them. Sight unseen....or better yet, untasted.....they. sold. out. 

$66 + $15.50 for shipping y'all.
For 4-6 people. 

Several digital media outlets wrote editorials about this appropriation fueled nonsense. One was even brave enough to taste test them for the masses. 

Didn't go well. 

Now, let me be the first to let you in on two VERY important things.

1. I can't cook greens to save my life. I'd seriously die an untimely death if challenged to do so. 

2. If you can't cook greens either, don't. More specifically, don't reheat frozen mall store greens you've overpaid for with undercooked, half chopped leaves and irregular sized flubbery bacon hunks floating in them and serve them to people. 

Just because I can't cook greens, doesn't mean I don't eat them....often. I routinely buy the ingredients and take them to my mom's house. 
Big ups to Sister Steele™ for 23 hours of labor and allowing unlimited access to your wizard level green cookage. #ThanksMa

When my freezer stockpile is low.....or my mom refuses the re-up.....I have to settle for making this hearty stew instead. It's full of flavor, freezes well, and doesn't require any sort of Super Soul Sunday deepness. It is what is...plus, it takes so little time and gives me just enough energy that I can go over my mom's house, lie on her couch, cough, and tell her I need more greens. For the pot liquor, of course. 


Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens
*adapted from recipe found in Cooking Light by Ken Haedrich, January 2002


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
garlic cloves, minced
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dried or pre-cooked lentils
1/2 cup chopped carrot
bay leaves
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped Yukon Gold or sweet potato
1 cup chopped smoked ham (optional)
(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils, carrot, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add Swiss chard, potato, and ham; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley.

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