Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mexican Red Lentil Stew


A year or so ago I saw this post on my dear friend Kate's blog and I remember thinking, ooh! that looks tasty! I'm going to make that. And I bought a bag of red lentils. I had the greatest of intentions, but never actually followed through.

Fast forward to this year, yesterday to the most gloomy Monday ever and me thinking, I need to make soup. Yummy, hearty, maybe kindy spicy flavorful soup. And then I remembered the red lentils, conveniently stashed in the back of my cupboard and an idea for dinner was born!

I looked over the links to the soup, recipes here and here, and then kinda went from that. And oh man, this stuff was delicious! The most beautiful mix of flavorful but not too spicy but delicious wonderful soup. And, with lentils being a superfood, it's ridiculously healthy as well.

So, make this tonight. It's the perfect cure for winter trying to edge its way back into spring.

Mexican Red Lentil Stew

1 Cup red lentils
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 yellow carrot, finely chopped (regular carrots are fine, they just had pretty yellow ones at the green market)
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 limes
handful of cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup quinoa
2-3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chile powder
3/4 tsp cumin

1. Place the lentils in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the lentils sit in the hot water about 20-30 minutes to soften.

2. While the lentils prepare, chop all your vegetables. Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large stock pot with a bit of olive oil and saute until softened. Add the spices and bell pepper, sautee another minute or two. Add the tomatoes, stock, quinoa and bring to a simmer.

3. Once the lentils have softened up and absorbed most of the water, you can pour off the rest of the water and add them to the soup. Blend together, possibly adding more stock. Simmer covered 20 minutes or so.

4. Stir in the juice of 1.5 limes (or so) and the chopped cilantro. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and another wedge of lime.


(And yes I like my fresh bread from the baker at the greenmarket, don't judge. :-) )

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