Monday, 9 March 2015

Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew


       Oh, stew. How you warm my heat. Sunday was day light savings (Spring is slowly coming to Canada) so amazingly, we actually ate dinner in daylight....though it was more of a lupper, seeing as we had brunch at 12.30. Anyways, we wanted some comfort food, so we decided on a hearty red lentil soup. Ryan wanted a soup, but I prefer stew, and it just happened that the pot wasn't big enough for him to add anymore liquid, so I won the soup vs. stew battle and we settled on a robust red stew with buttery drop biscuits.

       Also just to give you guys a heads up, I'm going to be offline for the next two weeks and will return on the 21st of March for a my birthday post (oh the options!). Two weeks four projects and four papers. Its going to be a very busy next couple of weeks. But don't worry, just because I'm not publishing recipes, doesn't mean I'n not making new recipes or testing old ones. A girl's got to eat after all.


       But anyways, back to the stew.... This stew is inspired by Indian dhal, and so uses some warm spices, like cumin and turmeric, but also some more floral spices like thyme and oregano. This stew is hearty enough that it doesn't need an accompaniment, but if you, like myself, enjoy dipping bread or biscuits into your stews and soups, give my vegan drop biscuit recipe a try.


Serves: 6-8
Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 medium-large carrots, sliced into rounds or semi-circles
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • I bunch red or rainbow swiss chard, stems separated from greens, stems chopped, greens chiffonaded
  • 2 cups red lentils (dry)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can or jar tomato puree, or alternatively diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 medium white or red potatoes, chucked 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


Preparation


  1. In a large soup or stock pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, garlic and chopped swiss chard stems for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. 
  2. Add lentils, stir and let toast for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and let the alcohol burn off for an additional two minutes.
  3. Add broth, water, tomato products and spices. Cover, bring to a boil on high heat, and then reduce and let simmer for 10 minutes. The lentils will absorb a lot of liquid so add more water as needed.
  4. Add chopped potatoes, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes on medium heat.
  5. When the potatoes are starting to get tender, add the swiss chard greens, slowly while stirring the soup to avoid greens from clumping together. Let simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  6.  Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice. 
  7. Serve with biscuits or garlicky toasts and enjoy.