Cooking with Robert McCloskey’s Lentil

Of course G and I had to make lentil stew after reading McCloskey’s book all week.  Even though he had no memory of eating lentils before, I was pretty confident he was going to like them.  He loves all kinds of beans.  Our timing was perfect – or maybe subconsciously planned.  This was our family’s first cold weather meal this year since the temperatures have dropped.  Below, I hope you will find a simple lentil stew recipe that your family will enjoy – or at least SOME people in your family will enjoy.  We can never please them all at once, right?  This recipe is great for any type of lentils: brown, red, green, yellow, etc., but for some reason I prefer the red ones.


  • 16 oz package of lentils
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 3 C water
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by heating a little olive oil in a stockpot on medium heat and sautee the chopped onion.  Allow them a minute or two to become transluscent.  Add the minced garlic and potatoes. When these have started cooking nicely, add the lentils, chicken broth and water, along with the bay leaves.  Reduce heat slightly and cover.  When the lentils are beginning to soften, add the chopped carrots.  Add seasonings, and finish cooking.  Add water and any extra salt and pepper needed.  This is a great meal for autumn nights you don’t want meat, or need something hearty that cooks up relatively quickly.  It pairs perfectly with a good, crusty ciabatta.

Happy Eating!