Try Some Legumes – Episode 44
This is a little post about lentils. And specifically about lentil stew. ‘Cause it’s fall. It’s really fall! It doesn’t feel like it everyday, but there are a few cold ones here and there! (I’m sorry for anyone who’s sad that they don’t live where it’s warm-ish year round… I like the cold weather, so sometimes LA is hard to take. But, I’m dealing with it and trying to make the most of it. OK? OK.) And even on the autumn days where it gets warmer than some places get in the summer, I’m still gonna eat things like soups, stews, roasts, root veggies, and all sorts of warm, hearty foods.
One of the reasons we’ll eat these kinds of foods is that we eat seasonally. We do this because of the produce that we get in our Abundant Harvest Organics box. I like this. We get what’s ripe right now, so that’s what I cook with. Maybe I’ll give out persimmons and pomegranates instead of candy tonight. OK, I actually won’t. That would be weird. But kinda funny. I think I may have just turned into the person who gives out walnuts and raisins. Oh dear. Actually, I want to give out Rolos. Actually, I’d probably just eat them instead of handing them out to the mini pirates, princesses, frogs, and spidermen. Why am I talking so much about candy? I’m not even a sweets person.
So I made some stew. It’s an earthy, hearty (hello protein in the lentils!), warming meal. I’ve made a variation of this before, but I changed it to fit what was coming in this week’s AHO box and what I had on hand at home. You could do the same. Or if you don’t love something I’ve included, use something you do. For example: don’t like radishes (daikon or regular)? Omit them and add an extra potato. Don’t like potatoes, but love the spicy daikon radishes? Omit them and add an extra radish. Want to save your collard greens for another dish? Add some more spinach. Want it more like a soup? Add more vegetable stock or water. You get the idea, right? It’s a soup-ish food, so it’s flexible. Make it to suit your tastes. Please. Thank you. And if you feel so inclined, youÃ‚ could serve this in a large (or one mini per person) pumpkin for a festive fall meal.
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 carrots (about 1 1/2 C), diced or chopped
- 2 celery ribs (about 1 C), diced or chopped
- 1 daikon radish (about 1 1/2 C), diced or chopped
- 1 potato, (about 1 1/2 C) diced or chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 radishes, (about 1/4 C) diced or chopped
- 3 C spinach, roughly chopped
- 4 collard green leaves (about 1 C), roughly chopped
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- pinch ginger
- pinch cayenne (or more if you want it spicier)
- 1 T sweet paprika
- 1 T smoked paprika
- 1/2 T chili powder
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 C lentils, uncooked
- 4 C vegetable stock (plus 1/2 to 1 C water, if necessary)
- parmesan cheese, for topping
- Heat soup pot. Add oil. Add veggies and 1 t salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are getting tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, stir, and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add tomato paste and 1 T balsamic vinegar, stir around and cook 2 minutes.
- Add remaining seasonings, including another t of salt (if desired) and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are soft, about 30-40 minutes. Add another 1/2 to 1 C water if it’s getting too thick. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from heat. Add in spinach, collard greens, and 1 T balsamic vinegar. Stir until wilted down. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
- Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
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