Lentil Stew With Pumpkin or Sweet Potatoes
This easy, subtly seasoned stew is an adaptation of a Moroccan recipe by Kitty Morse, from her lovely book “The Vegetarian Table: North Africa.” Whether you choose to use sweet potatoes or winter squash, you’ll be using vegetables with a great deal of vitamin A.
- 1/2 pound (1 heaped cup) lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 6 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1 medium onion, cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 20 sprigs cilantro, tied into a bunch
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 medium or 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 pound winter squash (such as pumpkin or butternut squash) or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Combine the lentils, water or stock, onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Rub the saffron between your fingers and add to the pot, along with the turmeric and the cilantro. Reduce the heat, add salt to taste, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
2. Remove the onion and garlic cloves from the pot, and add the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Bring back to a simmer, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Discard the cilantro bundle, taste and adjust seasonings. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: This will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator. When you reheat it, you may need to add some water. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
Nutritional information per serving: 159 calories; 0 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 31 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 46 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 11 grams protein