Eastern Lentil Stew

Last night I was not feeling hugely motivated to make dinner.  I knew we were going to have a simple arugula salad, but I just couldn’t think of anything to pair with it.  I finally decided since nothing was jumping out at me, I was just going to use some healthful ingredients already in the pantry and refrigerator.  So I went searching and made the bold decision to do something with lentils.  My heart started beating a little faster and I quickly searched for a recipe online to accelerate the rate even more.  I finally found it!  A wonderful recipe from allrecipes that had glowing user reviews.  I tweaked it as I normally do and this is what ended up in my stew pot.  Let me forewarn you of a couple of things:  1.  my mouth is watering just thinking about how savory, warm, and exotically spicy this stew is  2.  you will want to make a double batch so you can quickly pull it out of the freezer to get your new lentil fix and 3.  you will need a full dose of BEANO to keep the fumes down in your home!!

Eastern Lentil Stew

Servings:  5-6

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 t fresh grated ginger
  • 6 c veggie broth
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 c grated or chopped carrots
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 1 T + garam masala
  • 1/2 t + cayenne pepper
  • 2 T toasted cumin seeds
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • handful of golden raisins (optional)
  • garnish:  chopped green onion

Heat EVOO with the cumin seeds and chipotle pepper flakes over medium low.  When the cumin seeds are lightly toasted add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Next, add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until the celery is starting to soften.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the remainder of the ingredients (pour off the top 1/3 of the liquid from the canned beans, but use the rest), stir well and turn the heat down to low.  Cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring the pot every 10-15 minutes.  Use a food processor or blender to very lightly puree the stew before serving.

Helpful hint–when the stew is at your desired consistency, place a lid on the pot to cover about 75% of the top to keep the moisture in the pot. Continue to cook the stew for the suggested time to maximize the flavor profile of the dish.

Serve this stew with a healthy handful of green onions on top and a big piece of warm, crusty french or sourdough bread.  Enjoy a nice glass of brown beer or dry, fruity white wine with this flavorful dinner!

Bon Appetit!

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