Red Lentil Stew

I love red lentils, but mostly eat them in the winter, as they’re very warming.  Since it’s been getting colder, I decided I’d try a new recipe to welcome fall!

This can be made ahead of time and eaten over the course of a week.  I made it Sunday night–knowing I wouldn’t have a lot of cooking time during the week–and served it the next day with spinach sauteed with garlic.

Red Lentil Stew

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

2 leaves

1/2 tsp (or a few shakes) cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups small red lentils,  rinsed

3 cups vegetable broth

2 to 3 cups boiling water

1 lemon, halved

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/c c Greek yogurt

In a large saucepan, combine the oil, onion, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick over moderately low heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to moderately high, and add the ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and ginger are soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the lentils and cook, stirring, until they are coated with the oil, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and 2 cups of the boiling water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Squeeze the juice of the lemon through a strainer into the lentils. Add the lemon halves, salt, and the remaining 1 cup broth. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have broken down into a thick puree, 40 minutes. They should be soupy; if they get too thick, add more boiling water as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time.
Discard the lemon halves and cinnamon from the lentils and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Serve the lentils in bowls, topped with yogurt.
To reheat, put in pot and add some water or vegetable broth to loosen it up.
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