Go-To Stew


This is my go-to stew.  Has been for about 5 years.  It’s comforting, adaptable and so, so good. 1 pot, 1 hour = simple, incredibly tasty vegetarian meal. Truly a delightful change from ordinary lentil stew or soup. Make sure you have a hunk of great bread(gluten free if you need that) to sop up the stew juices or you’ll end up using your fingers!  Serve alongside a big salad for a complete meal. 

Leftovers are fabulous if you warm them and spoon them over rice or millet or quinoa.  This stew is a stretcher and you’re going to love it!


Jamaican Lentil Stew 
 
 
 

 

Ingredients:
 

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1 medium onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, pressed or smashed and minced
1 inch piece gingerroot, grated (should give you about 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 -2 teaspoon ground cumin (adjust according to taste)
1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk
1 liter vegetable stock
4 ounces split red lentils, washed and drained
1 small sweet potato
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree or 2 cups of cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (the more you use the more spicy it will be)
black pepper, to taste

 

 
Directions:
Make a thick paste by mashing ginger and garlic together using a pestle and mortar or a small bowl and the heel of a wooden spoon.

Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute until transparent. 

Add the garlic ginger paste and saute another 2 minutes until fragrant; lower heat and stir constantly to avoid burning the paste.  Add the spices and saute for a minute more. This step is delightful really because the smells that waft from the pan are vibrant.

Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin puree.

Simmer over medium – low heat for 40 – 50 minutes or until sweet potato is soft and almost melting into the stew. Be sure to stir occasionally.  If your stew is getting too thick lower the heat and add ½ cup of water or stock to get things back on track.

Before serving, stir in the red curry paste if you are using it or adjust seasoning with black pepper.  I whole heartedly recommend using the Thai curry paste.  It adds heat and brings depth to the flavor of the stew.  If you are serving kids you may want to pull out a portion of stew for them and them season the remainer.  My kids are accustomed to spices, but I increase the amount of spicy heat a little bit every now and then.  Sometimes it flies and sometimes it doesn’t.  I also find that giving the kids the control of the spices helps.  My 4 year old is really adventurous with spice and spiciness. The 8 year old is a bit more conservative, but they both try more than I would have imagined they would. 

    

 

 
NOTE: The stew has a creamy texture and is thick with lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin that melt into a delectable base. If you prefer a lighter soup then add more stock to thin the base, or try adding more coconut milk for a very savory and unique taste.



Want a printable version with nutrition facts?  Back in the day, I posted this on Recipezaar (now Food.com) — so, here’s the link to that version.


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