This recipe for a french lentil stew is as unique as it is delicious. The simple combination of french lentils with ginger, lightly spiced with coriander and cayenne and served on top of fluffy couscous makes for a delicious and high protein plant-based meal that is SO easy to make.
Lentils are a regular in our household. Most of the time it is this Easy Vegetarian Bean Soup or this Greek Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. This is my go-to recipe when I need something inexpensive and easy to make. The savouriness of the lentils cooked in broth, mixed with the spiced ginger, coriander and cayenne, and served with a hit of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parsley makes for one delicious meal.
Why I Made This Ginger French Lentil Stew
One Of The Best Lentil Recipes
The combination of lentils and ginger wasn’t really that intuitive for me. I usually pair lentils with curry (like in this Butter Squash Curry Lentil Soup). Who knew that simply cooking lentils with ginger could result in this delicious and simple meal! Most people who are new to lentils will appreciate the firmness and these puy lentils, as well as the simplicity of the dish.
A Cheap Lentil Stew Recipe
Lentils are a great cost-friendly protein source, and when paired with couscous and carrots this dish is easy on the wallet. To see the cost comparison of lentils versus meat see my post How To Cook Lentils + 5 Reasons Why We Should Eat Lentils.
This French Lentil Stew Is Easy!
It’s as easy as throwing everything in a pot and waiting for the lentils to cook. Sauteeing the onions and spices beforehand helps to enhance the flavours, but if you are short on time feel free to add ingredients to the pot and boil.
A Vegetarian Lentil Stew
Looking to get more plant-based meals into your weekly routine? This recipe is a great place to start. It is so hearty and filling, you won’t even miss the meat. Adding some sharp cheese really livens the dish – for a vegan version you can top it with nutritional yeast!
Tips On Making This Ginger French Lentil Stew
How To Cook Couscous
For each cup of dry couscous, use one cup of hot water. A flat bottom bowl is ideal for even cooking, but any bowl will do. Cover the dry couscous with the measured boiled water, stir once and cover with a plate or wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. For added flavour, salt, and oil can be added to the couscous once it is cooked. See this Easy Moroccan Couscous Salad with Raisins for more detailed information on cooking couscous.
How To Make Fluffy Couscous
The couscous grains tend to bind together during the steaming process. To ensure your couscous is light and fluffy, make sure to not let it steam for longer than 5 minutes and overcook it. As soon as it is finished steaming remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.
Can I Use Quinoa Instead of Couscous?
Couscous and quinoa are interchangeable in many recipes. Quinoa offers more texture as it is higher in fibre and protein, and therefore will also offer more nutrition than couscous. The pros of couscous are the cooking time, 5 minutes versus 30 for quinoa, and also the cost, couscous is one of the more inexpensive grains available. Quinoa can be used as a gluten-free alternative.
Notes On Making This Ginger French Lentil Stew
How Can I Make This French Lentil Stew Vegan?
The original recipe used shredded Gruyere cheese which was melted overtop and helped to bind the lentils and couscous together. I’ve opted to share a vegan version of this soup. Nutritional yeast is a great vegan alternative, but if you are looking for that melted cheese consistency you may have to look into a vegan cheese alternative.
How Can I Make This Lentil Stew Gluten-Free?
This lentil stew can be made gluten-free by replacing the couscous with either quinoa or brown rice. For those that are highly gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease make sure you check any store-bought vegetable stock to make sure it does not contain any gluten products.
What Are Some French Lentil Substitutes?
Sometimes French lentils, also known as Puy lentils, can be hard to come by. In my younger years the easier to find brown lentils were often used as a replacement in this dish. Brown lentils can go soggy if they are overcooked, so decrease the cooking time to 30 minutes.
What Toppings Go With This Lentil Stew?
This lentil stew goes great with melted cheese, grated parmesan cheese, or vegan cheese. Lately, I have been loving the simplicity of topping it with a little bit of chopped parsley. A squeeze of lemon juice will help enhance the absorption of the iron from the lentils.
Want Some More Of My Best Lentil Recipes?
Some of my other favourites lentil soups include:
- Easy Lentil Soup with Kale
- Mixed Lentil and Bean Winter Warming Soup
- Vegetarian Greek Lentil Soup with Lemon and Feta
- Vegan Buddha Bowl with Lentils and Miso Tahini Dressing
- Best Lentil Salad Recipe with a Mustard Vinaigrette
Ginger French Lentil Stew Recipe with Couscous
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp ginger minced
- 4 carrots chopped
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
- 3 cups water
- 6 cups vegetable stock*
- 3 cups puy lentils** or brown lentils
- 2 cups couscous dry
- 2 cup water boiled
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- nutritional yeast or grated Gruyere cheese (not vegan)
- Rinse the lentils and set aside. This is important to make sure no tiny little pebbles appear in your stew.
- Heat the olive oil to medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic, ginger and carrot and fry for an additional 1 minute. Next, add coriander powder and cayenne (if using) and fry for 30 more seconds to release the flavour.
- Add the water and vegetable stock, and increase the heat to bring it to a boil. Add the lentils and bring to a boil again, then turn down the heat to medium and place the lid half on the saucepan to let the mixture simmer.
- Let the lentil stew simmer for about 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through and the consistency resembles a stew. Continue to check and stir the pot frequently throughout the cooking process.
- While the lentils are cooking prepare the couscous. Add the dry couscous to a medium or large bowl, add the boiled water (and sprinkle of salt if desired) and let sit covered with a plate for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove the coverage plate and fluff the couscous with a fork. Do not let steam for longer than 5 minutes, or this will result in soggy and clumpy couscous. Set aside.
- When the stew is finished cooking, serve the stew on top of the couscous. Add a squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle of chopped parsley before serving.