Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vegan Red Lentil Stew

its too damn cold outside to do anything other than make soup.
Vegan Curried Red Lentil Stew
Measured dried red lentils and turmeric, soon to be stew.
So the temperature here in Boston this AM was hovering somewhere around six degrees. This isn't just regular old winter cold, this is downright offensive cold. Frost covering all of the window panes kind of cold, 3 pairs of socks inside the winter boots kind of cold, earmuffs under a hat under a hood wrapped in a scarf kind of cold. What to do when the temps get this low? Forget all about going outdoors, stay inside and make soup instead! This recipe was born from both the need to use up the bulk red lentils that have been clogging up my pantry shelves (I got a REALLY good deal) and the desire to eat something warming and nourishing that could fend off a looming head cold. This soup covers all of those bases and then some and is chock full of just the right kind of cold-fighting (of both the sickness and temperature variety) spices, like curry powder (DIY recipe here), turmeric, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper. This is an approximation of a traditional Ethiopian stew, full of rich, bold flavors and incredibly hearty, perfect served alone or over a bed of rice.
Serves 6-8 but can be easily halved for a smaller batch. 
Finished curried red lentil stew, ready for fresh greens. 

Curried Red Lentil Stew
(serves 6-8)

2c dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3tbsp olive oil
2 onions diced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4c fresh ginger, minced
1tbsp curry powder 
1tsp ground cumin
2tsp turmeric
1/2c crushed tomatoes
2tsp salt
1 1/2tsp crushed red pepper
8c unsalted vegetable broth
2c chopped fresh spinach, arugula, kale or other 
cooking greens.
Extra salt and crushed red pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly translucent, 
stirring frequently.

Add garlic and ginger, stirring every 15 seconds or so.
Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
Add curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt and red pepper, 
cook for 1 minute.

Add lentils, stirring to incorporate into the mix.
Cook for 30 seconds longer, allowing mix to 
become fragrant.

Add stock and tomatoes, stir well to incorporate.
Turn burner to low and simmer partially covered 
for 30 minutes.
Stir every 10 minutes or so.

Once the 30 minutes are up, taste your soup, 
adding more salt if needed.
If the mix looks a little on the thick side, add more stock or water, 1/4c at a time.
Finished stew, topped with local greens and crushed red pepper.

Add half of the fresh chopped greens, stir, and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes longer, until lentils have broken down and look almost pureed.
Serve hot garnished with the remainder of fresh greens.
Add more crushed red pepper to taste. 

No comments:

Post a Comment