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I’m a big Real Simple fan, and have that magazine to thank for this wonderfully delicious new stew recipe that I made for dinner this evening. Even though it was a  sunny, very non-wintery mid-60s day, a hearty stew still sounded good for dinner, and it was a good call. This dish would be particularly perfect for a chilly night.

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(Side note: I feel like I’ve taken a small step up in the world, because I’m now among the handful of people at work to receive a copy of Real Simple in my mailbox each month. We get a several publications addressed to people who no longer work at Mullen, and so those extras are distributed to lucky recipients. Real Simple, for good reason, is one of the more coveted magazines that comes into our mail room, and so when I found a copy in my box earlier this week I was beyond excited. It’s the little things, right?)

But you came here to learn how to make some stew, so let’s get cracking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (Not extra virgin, by the way, since you’ll be cooking with it. Extra virgin olive oil is best for dishes served cold, like dips and salad dressings, because it burns off quickly when heated. Fun fact, huh?)
  • 3/4 pounds Italian sausage links, with casings removed (I used three sausage links — not sure how much that was exactly, but it worked well!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped*
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cups stemmed and torn kale (I just used one 10-ounce bag of pre-washed, pre-stemmed, pre-torn kale from Trader Joe’s to make things nice and easy)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

*I want to take a moment to spotlight one of my very favorite (and most-used) kitchen utensils — the garlic zoom! For those not familiar with this handy and compact little device, allow me to make a quick plug on its behalf. You just load it with your peeled garlic cloves, roll the zoom back and forth across a cutting board or counter top, and — ta-da! — you have nicely minced garlic in just seconds. Pretty great. I highly recommend adding it to your kitchen if you don’t already have one.

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Directions

  • Heat the olive oil (you aren’t using EVOO, are you??) in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into small-ish pieces as you cook, until browned (8 to 10 minutes).
  • Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes (until onions begin to soften).
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the broth, kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils and potatoes are tender (35 to 40 minutes).

Easy, right? Real simple, even.

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