This cozy French lentil stew is simmered with savory herbes de Provence, juicy tomatoes, olives, and topped with fresh basil. A healthy vegan comfort food meal that comes together in about an hour!
Coat the bottom of a medium pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Add the water, lentils, and herbes de Provence, then raise the heat and bring the water to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the lentils to simmer until just a tad undercooked, about 30 minutes. Add a bit of hot water to the pot if it gets too dry while simmering.
While the lentils cook, sauté the mushrooms. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms in an even layer, being careful to avoid crowding the skillet. Cook the mushrooms in batches if needed.
Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and tender.
Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
When the lentils have finished simmering there should be just a bit of water left in the pot — not quite enough to cover the lentils. If there's more than that, drain the lentils and return them to the pot with about ½ cup of water, then return the pot to the burner.
Add the wine to the pot. Raise the heat and bring it to a simmer. Allow it to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 4 minutes.
Stir the cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, and capers into the pot. Bring it back up to a simmer.
Simmer the stew for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the lentils are as tender as you like them and the stew is thick.
Remove the pot from heat and season the stew with salt and pepper.
Divide into bowls and top with fresh basil. Serve.
*You can really use whatever variety of olives you like! I used a mix of Kalamata and plain old green olives. If you want your stew to be more authentically French, use a French variety of olive.