This is a big day, friends. No, I don’t have any new book or baby announcements on the agenda – but today is the first day in four years that this vegetarian food blog has a lentil recipe! I have at least 39 chickpea recipes (more if you count the ones I probably forgot to tag) but let me present – the almighty lentil.
I realize that many of you probably really love lentils… they’re a great source of protein, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian. My relationship with lentils has been so-so, but lately I’ve been giving them another chance. So far, I’ve found that I’m ok with red lentils. (baby steps)
If you’re like me and are ready to be converted, this red lentil sweet potato stew is a darn good place to start. Though it’s a bit of a hot mess, it’s been one of our favorite recipes this fall. Unlike most soups that I make, it’s not broth-y or creamy. Instead it has a deliciously thick texture that’s somewhere in between.
It’s spiced with ginger, curry & cardamom and brightened with generous squeezes of lime. It’s great the first day, the second day, and… well… it didn’t last any longer than that in our house, but it won’t be long before I make this one again.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 large sweet potato, chopped
- 2 teaspoons muchi curry powder*
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¾ cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Juice of 1 lime, plus extra lime wedges for serving
- Juice of ½ small lemon
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, ginger, and sweet potatoes and stir. Add the curry, cardamom, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Stir again and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and broth. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots and sweet potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender (or a potato masher) to coarsely blend the stew. Add the green beans, peas, and spinach and cook for another few minutes. Add the lime juice, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more spice, lime, and salt and pepper to balance the flavors to your liking.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, if using, and serve with lime wedges. If desired, combine all yogurt sauce ingredients and serve on the side.
If you over-spice your soup, add a splash of white wine vinegar to tone down the heat.