comments below from the blog

hearty red lentil stew

serves 3-4
I was looking to maximise the use of fresh fruit & veg this time and the humble trio of onion, celery and carrot were the best value.
This stew is calling out for customisation. Some spices, a little more chilli, even some different veg – all depending on your budget. If I had more money to spend I would have topped it with some fresh corriander or mint leaves and served with a dollup of natural yoghurt.
The secret to cooking red lentils is to keep an eye on them and stop when they are just tender. Its a fine line between just cooked and mushy. But don’t stress if you end up with a more lentil soup texture – it will still be delicious.
Oh and if you’re wondering why I’ve labelled this 5 ingredients but there are 6 listed, I normally don’t count oil as an ingredient but have listed it today for accounting purposes.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 10c
1 onion, peeled & diced 30c
1 large carrot, diced into chunks 24c
2 ribs celery, diced onto chunks 24c
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz) 75c

150g red lentils 66c

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and cook onion covered on a medium low heat until the onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils and 1 1/2cups water. Simmer until the veg are tender – about 45mins.

Add lentils and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until lentils are just cooked through but not mushy. Taste and season and serve with steamed rice.
total cost $2.29
cost per serving (assuming 3) 77c