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This hearty stew is great for cold afternoons and evenings served in a big mug to warm both your hands and your body. You can use many different meats to flavor the stew or leave them out completely for a vegetarian soup.

Lentils are one of the first crops domesticated by man and have been a source of protein throughout recorded history. They are high fiber and low starch, making them great for diabetics. They also contain a high concentration of iron.

Serves 4

1 cup lentils (whatever color you like)

2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juices

1 pound chicken breast, cooked and cubed (smoked is even better tasting)

1-2 cups small red potatoes cut into quarters

1 cup chopped yellow or white onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

3 Tablespoons minced garlic

1 Tablespoon pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½-1 cup shredded parmesan

In a deep pan or large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots until softened.

Add lentils, tomatoes, chicken, and 4 cups water and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer till lentils are tender (about 45 minutes). Cover the pan to speed the softening while stirring occasionally.

Once the lentils have softened, add the parsley, peppers, oregano, and salt to taste.

Serve in bowls topped with shredded parmesan and a chunk of crusty bread.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Andre Nowading, Kroger

Date: 12/9/2013

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