Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were filled with joy and laughter, friends, family, and delicious food. I just returned from spending 8 days in Aspen, Colorado to a cold and snowy Ohio. Looks like January is going to be all about steamy bowls of soup and hearty stews, with an occasional salad, (had a wonderful one in Aspen that I want to share), and perhaps a dessert or two thrown in because, hey, it's hard to live without dessert.
One of my all time favorite cold weather dishes is this nourishing Red Lentil Stew. It's comfort food that not only tastes amazing, but is healthy for you too. I use red lentils because they break down when cooked, and melt into the broth. They also impart a nice color. Green and brown lentils tend to hold their shape and are better suited to other recipes. The broth consists of coconut milk and chicken broth. If you're vegetarian, obviously you could substitute vegetable broth. Garam Masala is used as a spice in this stew, and can be found in most grocery stores. It's made of coriander, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, chamuska, and caraway. Delicious! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do at my house.
Red Lentil Stew
- 3 T. olive oil + more for cauliflower
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 T. grated fresh ginger
- 2 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed in cold water
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen baby peas
- 1 T. garam masala
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes until browned. Set aside.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until golden. Add the garlic, ginger, and garam masala. Cook for a minute, but watch so it doesn't burn. Add the carrots, potato, lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk, and stock. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes and lentils are tender. Stir in the roasted cauliflower and peas and cook until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
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