Lentil stew.

For someone like me who generally ignores the entire soup section when eating out…

Yet ever since I discovered the middle eastern soup, lentil stew, it has changed my whole perspective on the warm liquid food group.  As fall is approaching.. and I couldn’t find anything that is as comforting and nourishing as this spiced soup, which is low in calories and high in fiber, iron, and other nutrients

Recipes of lentil stews or lentil soups diverge widely and I’ve been trying to perfect mine…  

Again, I tend to make a HUGE batch that lasts for a week because my schedule is jam packed.  The recipe process comes very quickly if you prepare ingredients beforehand.  The leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.  I usually store the rest in a freezer after keeping in a fridge for 3 days to let the full flavour release in the soup.  Just need to defrost it in a refrigerator a day before if I want to have it for lunch.

I love having my lentil stew with lightly toasted bread and pecorino (or other hard and crumbly cheeses like parmigiano-reggiano or gorgonzola).

// Ingredients (4-6 servings) //

1 cup lentils  //  1 tbsp olive oil  //  1 red onion (finely chopped)  //  2 cup celery (finely chopped)  //  3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)  //  2 sweet potatoes (chopped)  //  1.5 tsp cumin  //  1.5 tsp garam masala  //  thyme (to taste)  //  sea salt (to taste)  //  black pepper (to taste)  //  1 cup tomato (chopped and crushed)  //  5 cups vegetable broth  //  1 tbsp red wine vinegar  //  1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

// Instructions //

Soak lentils overnight.  Heat olive oil in cocotte over medium heat; sauté onion and celery until onion is brown and celery is tender (about 8-10 minutes).  Add minced garlic; sauté for another minute.  Pour in chopped sweet potatoes and lentils; sauté until they are soft (about 20 minutes).  Reduce to low heat; add cumin, garam masala, thyme, salt, and black pepper; stir well.  Add crushed tomato, vegetable broth, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice; stir well; bring to boil.  Reduce to low heat; simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Serve over steamed rice or with toasted bread and perhaps.. pecorino!

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