Sweet Potato Red Lentil Stew

Makes 8 generous servings

2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
4 tablespoons  olive oil
2 cups chopped celery and tops
4 cups carrots  (approx 8)
2 cups parsnips (optional, but very nice addition)
4 cups sweet potatoes (4)
1 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley, stems removed
2 cups water
1 qt vegetable stock
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegy base ( Better than Bullion) or vegy bullion cubes
Salt to taste

Chop carrots, parsley, and sweet potatoes by cutting each in half lengthwise then slicing in 1/2 inch pieces.

Bring lentils and water to a boil on stove top, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft. Let steam in pan another 5 mins. lentils should be mushy. Set aside.

Separate celery tops from pieces and put aside. ( Celery tops burn easily and are best added last.)
In a large pot, cook celery in 2 tblsps oil for 5 minutes to soften slightly, remove from pan and put aside.
In the same large pot, saute carrots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 mins, add parsnips and sweet potatoes, saute 5 more minutes. Add celery tops and parsley, saute 2 more minutes.
Add 2 cups water and vegetable stock and reserved celery. Bring to boil and simmer for approx 30 – 40 minutes. Vegetables should be soft.
Add soy, honey, and bullion. Simmer 2 minutes. Add lentils and stir in well, heat through. With immersion blender or potato masher, puree some of the vegetables, leaving about 1/2 of the vegetable pieces whole.
Turn off heat and let set for 5 minutes. Serve with salt sprinkled on top.

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew