Makes 2 main dishes, 4 servings each

Assembly Time: about 50 minutes; Reheating Time: about 10 minutes. Notes: Thaw overnight or quick-thaw (see Thawing below). Serve with cabbage slaw and crusty sourdough bread.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort lentils, discard debris, and rinse.

Step 2

In a 6- to 8-quart pan, combine lentils, broth, celery, carrots, barley, sautéed onions and garlic, and rosemary. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Step 3

Add tomatoes, cover, and stir occasionally until lentils are tender to bite, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 4

Ladle 1/2 the stew into each of 2 plastic freezer bags (1-gal. size). Seal bags and freeze (see Cold Facts below).

Step 5

Thaw 1 bag (see notes). Empty stew into a 3- to 4-quart pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 6

Thawing: Cooking times are for thawed, chilled foods. Overnight: The night before serving, place container of frozen food in the refrigerator. Quick-thaw: Heat frozen foods in plastic bags in a microwave oven at 50% power just until pliable, then cook as recipe directs or empty food into a microwave-safe container, drape loosely with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook at full power (100%) until steaming. Note: If your microwave accepts metal, you can also quick-thaw dishes frozen in foil pans; follow manufacturer's instructions.

Step 7

Cold Facts. Packaging: freezer bags. If ingredients include liquid, set each plastic freezer bag upright in a bowl, then fill. Squeeze out all air and seal bag. For better protection of frozen foods during storage, seal each bag inside a second one. Lay bags flat in freezer until solid so they will stack.

Step 8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

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