Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes (Vegan Recipe)
➤ by Sylvie Fulson
This vegan German-style Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes (Linseneintopf mit Kartoffeln und Lauch) is my new favorite recipe. It's quick and easy to prepare, it's filling, and it's delicious.
It's a simple recipe made with simple ingredients, and is such a comforting dish to enjoy over the cold winter months. Who doesn't love a warming bowl of hearty lentil stew with scrumptious potatoes and the subtly sweet onion flavor of leeks?
For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important & interesting stuff to know right below.
I kept this lentil recipe simple with just leeks and garlic, but you can certainly add any of your favorite veggies to it, such as onion, carrots, and/or celery.
All but one of the ingredients used in this recipe are well known in German cuisine: potatoes, lentils, leek, garlic (not used a lot traditionally, but becoming more popular), water/broth, salt, black pepper, and thyme.
The exception is tamari.
I use tamari to flavor this delicious stew; it adds such a lovely, savory, and rich umami flavor to the mild earthy flavor of the lentils. But what exactly is tamari?
What is tamari?
Tamari is a Japanese form of soy sauce, but unlike conventional soy sauce, it contains no added wheat and is made with a higher volume of soybeans, resulting in a rich, thick texture and deep umami flavor.
In my opinion, tamari is a superior product, both in taste and quality, but it can generally be used interchangeably with soy sauce.
Also important to note, tamari contains less sodium than soy sauce—around 233 mg per tablespoon to soy sauce’s 900 mg per tablespoon.
While tamari adds amazing flavor to this German-style lentil stew, it is obviously not a staple in German cuisine. If you want to give this recipe total German flavor, feel free to use Maggi Würze instead, to taste. Maggi Würze (or seasoning) also has an umami-rich, soy sauce-like flavor.
If you would prefer Maggi seasoning, but don't have it on hand, try one tablespoon tamari or soy sauce and one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Apparently, this combination tastes just like, or at least very similar to, Maggi. (Try this Worcestershire sauce if you want to keep this recipe plant-based.)
- Tamari? That one's new to me. However, the way Sylvie describes it, makes it sound like a great option to use instead of soy sauce when I cook Asian foods (yes, I cook non-German foods too!)
- To use it instead of my traditional seasoning, Maggi? Well, I'm certainly going to try that!!!!
- One is NEVER too old to learn something new! Thanks, Sylvie!
How to make Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes
Start by gathering the ingredients and washing and prepping your vegetables.
If you've never prepared leeks before, trim off the dark green end and the root end. You only want to use the white parts and tender green parts of the leek.
Slice the leek into thin rings OR slice it in half lengthwise. Add the leek rings or strips to a large bowl of cold water and stir gently with your hand to remove any dirt or grit between the layers.
Transfer leeks to a colander with your hands or slotted spoon. Rinse out with water to ensure perfectly clean leek rings or strips. Cut strips into thin slices.
Once veggies are all ready to go, start by cooking leeks in a little bit or water for a few minutes.
While leeks are cooking, get the potatoes started. Cook them for about 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and set aside when done.
Add garlic to leeks and cook a little longer, adding a splash of water now and then, if needed, to keep veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season with a pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme.
Rinse one cup green lentils and add them to the pot along with 2 tablespoons tamari, stirring to coat.
Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Thicken lentil mixture with a slurry of arrowroot powder and cold water. Taste, and adjust seasonings.
Add boiled potatoes to the lentil stew, stirring to combine.
Serve with a dollop of cashew cream, some freshly ground black pepper, and fresh crusty bread or wholesome German sourdough whole grain bread.
More yummy options
I like to serve this delicious lentil stew with boiled potatoes mixed in. But you can also serve the potatoes topped with the lentils, or serve the potatoes on the side.
Another yummy option is to serve the lentil stew on top of mashed potatoes, or on the side.
OR, do like they do in Southern Germany and serve the lentil stew with Spätzle.
All options are delicious and equally satisfying!
Make it a Vegetable and Lentil Soup
Leftovers taste amazing and are perfect for a quick lunch the next day.
Or, if you prefer, you can change it up a little. Take the leftover leek and lentil stew, add water or broth, additional seasonings (perhaps some tomato paste and/or a touch of lemon juice), and extra pre-cooked veggies (perhaps some diced carrots, celery, and onion, and/or a chopped tomato), and turn it into a vegetable soup with lentils.
What a wonderful way to get two healthy dinners (or lunch!) out of one recipe; a hearty lentil stew and a deliciously healthy soup.
Looking for more German leek, lentil, or stew recipes?
Ready to make this yummy vegan lentil stew?
Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes
This yummy, hearty whole-food plant-based Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes (Linseneintopf mit Kartoffeln und Lauch) is quick and easy to make and absolutely perfect on a cool autumn or cold winter evening.
Makes 4 servings
- 4 - 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 large leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a large pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, or one large thyme sprig
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or corn starch
- In a medium to large saucepan, cook leeks in a little water over medium heat for a few minutes.
- While leeks are cooking, get the potatoes started by placing them, and enough water to cover, in a large pot. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes, until fork tender.
- Add garlic to leeks and cook a little longer, about a minute or two. Add a splash of water, if needed, to keep veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme, and cook for one more minute. (If using a fresh sprig, add it in with the water.)
- Rinse lentils and add them to the pot along with the tamari, stirring to coat.
- Add the 4 cups water (and thyme sprig, if using) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- When potatoes are done cooking, drain and set aside.
- Once lentils are tender, remove thyme sprig (if used), and mix about 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder with a little bit of cold water until dissolved. Pour into lentil mixture to thicken the stew. Turn off, or remove from, heat.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Add reserved potatoes to the lentil mixture, stirring to combine.
- Serve with a dollop of cashew cream, some freshly ground black pepper, and fresh crusty bread or wholesome German sourdough whole grain bread.
- Try adding bay leaves, a rosemary sprig, or any of your other favorite fresh herbs instead.
- If you love leeks and their wonderful flavor, consider using two medium leeks (or large!) instead.
- Use a good olive oil to sauté veggies, if you prefer.
- You can use brown lentils instead of green, or try using a combination of green, brown, and red lentils.
- If you don't have broth, you can dissolve a vegetable stock cube for each cup of water needed.
- Try adding a teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes if you like your stews with a little heat.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe to make a big batch for a large family gathering or to enjoy leftovers. Just use a large enough saucepan or large dutch oven to fit everything in.
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Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes (Vegan Recipe)
By Sylvie Fulson
This vegan German-style Leek and Lentil Stew with Potatoes is my new favorite recipe. It's quick and easy to prepare, it's filling, and it's delicious.
water or vegetable broth,
arrowroot powder or corn starch,
For the full recipe, scroll up ...
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