Today’s recipe is one of the very first I got good at cooking, back in my teendom days. It’s simple, flavorful, and packed full of fiber, protein, iron, and B-vitamins, to name just a few. We’ve had some unseasonably cool days here recently, and settling down in the evening with a big bowl of this stew is oh-so-comforting.
Good news: this dish tastes better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two. Love that! This stew was a big hit at the recent Yoga retreat I hosted, and I promised to post the recipe. I also promised my college student sis, Mona, that I’d post this so she can make it up ahead of time and have it on hand for her busy weeks of school and work. So here goes:
One Pot Lentil Stew and Chickpea Stew
1 medium onion
2 large carrots
3-5 large garlic cloves
3 teaspoons each of cardamom and coriander
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 scant teaspoon cumin
1 scant teaspoon allspice
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 ½ cups lentils (brown or yellow preferred)
4-5 cups filtered water
1 28 ounce can of peeled, whole tomatoes
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
14-16 ounces cooked chickpeas (either canned or pre-cooked)
2 cups fresh spinach
1. Heat olive oil over a low flame in a large soup pot. As the oil heats, peel and chop the onions and carrots.
2. Raise the heat of the pan to medium. Add the onions and carrots and stir well to begin cooking them. Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, until softened.
3. Lower the flame to low. Add the garlic and spices and stir well. When the spices’ aroma begins to bloom (in about 30-60 seconds), remove the pan from heat immediately and turn off the heat. Cook for 30 seconds to one minute more.
4. Add the lentils, canned tomatoes, cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and water to the pot. Break up the tomatoes and stir everything together really well.
5. Return pot to burner, and bring to a boil. Once stew is boiling, drop the flame down to low and cook for 20-30 minutes more, or until both carrots and lentils are tender.
6. Add the pre-cooked chickpeas. (If using canned, be sure to strain the liquid and rinse the chickpeas).
7. To finish, turn off the flame and add the spinach. The residual heat will wilt the spinach, leaving it a bright green color without overcooking it.