Hearty, Spicy Lentil Stew
It’s starting to feel like fall here in LA. The temperature has been consistently in the 70’s to mid 80’s (with the occasional 90+ days). The leaves are starting to change. It’s still dark when I get up in the morning. I really do enjoy and appreciate a lot about where we live. But, probably for as long as we continue to not live there, I will miss the fall weather in Ontario, Canada. I miss the cool crisp air, frost on the ground, being able to see my breath. The red, gold and burnt orange leaves. Raking them into a pile, then jumping in them. And the smell of those leaves. Maybe it’s just the air that smells that way, like, fall. Oh how I miss it. (P.S. Wherever you live, have you ever jumped into a pile of freshly raked leaves? Isn’t it fun?!) Although fall in LA may not be all that I wish it would be, it’s not too bad at all. And it will always be my favorite season.
One of my favorite things about fall is fall foods. Soups, stews, roasts; hearty, comforting meals. Last week, on a cool day, I made some Hearty, Spicy Lentil Stew. The recipe was inspired by one I saw in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine that had pasta, lentils, tomato sauce and I’m not sure what else. Those three ingredients led me to come up with a recipe based on what we had in our kitchen.
Here it is. I hope you make it, and feel cozy and fall-y and full. Enjoy!
|Hearty, Spicy Lentil Stew||
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T bacon grease (or olive oil, if you want to make it a bit healthier – it will lose a bit of flavor though)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 small turnips, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 t salt
- 1 t smoked paprika (or 2 if you’re not using bacon grease)
- pinch ground ginger
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- pinch all spice
- 2 C pan drippings (from a roast chicken)
- 4-6 C water (only if not using 8 C stock, below)
- OR 6-8 C chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 C lentils
- 1 C pureed pumpkin
- 1 C crushed tomatoes
- 1 C rotini pasta
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- Heat soup pot. Add oil and bacon grease. Add carrot, turnip and onion, cook 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and vinegar.
- Bring to a boil, cook 30-60 minutes (or until lentils are soft).
- Add pasta. Cook until al dente.
- Add vinegar.
- Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
Lentils are high in iron and are a good source of protein.
Yummy served with Cream Cheesed Garlic Bread.
This recipe can be vegetarian using vegetable stock, and/or gluten-free using rice pasta (that’s the kind that I used, just because we like it). If you don’t like veggies, they can be pureed and added in (and additional ones can be added too, like spinach, chard, kale, cauliflower, zucchini etc).