We’ve all got our favorite chili recipes, but sometimes a good stew is just what the doctor ordered. I love soup and stews of all kinds because they are easy to add to. Have some extra veggies or legumes? Throw them in the soup. Have an odd amount of meat leftover from another recipe? Throw it in the soup!
And this Red River soup has tons of veggies, too. I love that (without any extra toppings) this soup is dairy and grain free. But, of course I do love this with some shredded cheddar on top and some tasty tortilla strips on top.
The basis for this stew is a hearty foundation of meat and potatoes, helped along with some red lentils for extra flavor and texture. There’s a generous amount of canned tomatoes in this stew as well, which gives it a rich red color.
The origin of the name for the stew is unclear, but considering that the Red River flows from Louisiana to Texas it’s easy to imagine that this chili-and-cilantro-infused stew could have been cowboy fare that caught on with non-cowboys.
However it came to be this is a hearty dish that’s very filling. And, you can make it as spicy or mild as you like.
The recipe does call for some fresh jalapeños but if you don’t want any heat you can add half a green bell pepper instead.
Plain or with your choice of toppings this stew makes a wonderful dinner and you’ll still have some meat leftover for another meal. Hearty, tasty, and economical- you can’t get better than that!
Red River Stew
20m prep time
39m cook time
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- dash hot sauce (or to taste)
- 3 Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 (14.5 oz) cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup (packed) chopped cilantro
- toppings of your choice like cheese, sour cream, chips, or croutons
- Heat oil in medium stockpot over medium heat. Add beef and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, celery, and jalapeno and cook until onions begin to turn translucent, about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Make a well in center and add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and hot sauce and stir.
- Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and diced tomatoes. Bring to boil and cook uncovered until potatoes are tender, 14-20 minutes. Add lentils and cook for 10 more minutes, adding more broth (or some water) if needed.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve with cheese, croutons, or toppings of your choice.
Recipe adapted from Big Oven.