Also, feel free to experiment with the leafy greens. We usually use either kale or spinach, but I would imagine that just about any kind of leafy green (Swiss chard, turnip greens, cabbage, etc.) would work as well.
3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots
2 large potatoes (or 4 Yukon gold - they will hold their shape better)
5 oz kale, stems removed and cut into 1-inch strips
15 oz crushed tomatoes
32 oz chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth or water if you are vegetarian)
15 oz chick peas, drained and rinsed
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
First step: Heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions and stir. Cook for a few minutes and then stir in the garlic. Be sure to stir constantly and move on to the next step quickly, as garlic can burn in the blink of an eye (not that I would be guilty of that, of course).
Next, stir in the crushed tomatoes. Cover this quickly, as it will splatter.
By the time you've got the potatoes and carrots prepped, it should be time to carefully add them to the tomato/onion mixture. Be careful when you take the lid off the pot - those tomatoes can be mean! Give them a good stir and pour in the lentils.
Stir everything well, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let it cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Next, gently stir in the kale or other greens. Let that simmer another 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
One trick I learned in Turkey to boost flavor without adding extra sodium is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This helps to clarify the flavors and often eliminates the need to add any extra salt to a dish. Another good trick is to crumble some good feta on top.
Leftovers are great the next day, and will keep well for the better part of a week - perfect for making on the weekend and eating for lunch throughout the week. Serve hot with good bread and enjoy!