Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lentil Stew Recipe

Sitting down to the dinner table with a steaming bowl of hearty soup after a long, cold day is extremely satisfying.  Soup is one of my favorite things to eat in the fall and winter.  The temperature is starting to drop here in the northeast and I am on a mission to find some new soup recipes.  My sister introduced me to this lentil stew, and I am so glad she did.

This lentil stew is flavored with warm cinnamon and cumin spices that create a comforting meal.  This spice combination for the stew was a welcomed changed from the typical chicken noodle soup or tortellini soup.  This recipe serves six, so my husband and I were lucky enough to freeze two additional portions for future dinners after a long day of work.  This stew froze well and tasted just as good as it did the first night we made it. 

Lentil Stew Recipe
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onions, diced
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes with juices
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup dried barley, rinsed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

First, heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onions and carrots to the  hot oil, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes until soft and tender.  Next, stir in the garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Now add in the cumin and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes with juices, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick to the soup pot with the onions and carrots.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Once at a boil reduce the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes partially covered.  Add the barley to the stew, cover partially, and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. 

1)      As I mentioned above, this stew freezes well.  Portion your extra stew into individual Tupperware containers to freeze for later.
2)      This stew can be made vegetarian with vegetable stock. 
3)      Serve this stew with a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt for added creaminess.

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