Take That Winter! Thick And Hearty Lentil Stew

Happy 2010 everyone! I hope you all had a joyous holiday and a fun (and safe) New Years Eve. I traveled to the windy and disturbingly cold Chicago for Christmas to see quite a few members of the extended family. Despite the shivering, it was a great time and well worth the twelve hour drive it took to get there (that’s right, we drove there).  My family, with our German roots, is not big on the vegetarian cuisine and the term “light” does not enter the vocabulary either (I believe the word is “licht”, in case you were wondering).  There will be much to make up for these following months.

The new year has started off wickedly cold up here in DC and the strong winds we’ve been getting lately have been so horrid I have given serious thought to becoming a professional hermit.  I suppose moving would be a little more realistic….  Regardless, I shall be cutting down on any non-essential trips out of my building and surrounding myself with whatever keeps me warm.

Ingredients

I’ve always loved meals with copious chunks of fruit or vegetables and this is because I’ve always been a picker.  I would always start munching on whatever Mom was making for dinner before it was ready until she kicked me out of the kitchen.  My sister HATED this (“he’s putting his hands in our food!”).  You can’t really “pick” a piece of biscuit or spaghetti.  You’re either going to get caught or burned.  But fruit salad, roasted vegetables?  Score.

ANYWAY, with winter in full swing I wanted something as well as filling, so I took a recipe from my hero Alton Brown and stewified it; making it heartier.  Next time, I shall add a potato, I believe, but the broccoli was a great addition as part of the soup and for picking potential (you can pick from soup.  it’s just harder).  Try this next time you’re looking for something to warm the deep chill out of your bones.

Thick and Hearty Lentil Stew

Thick and Hearty Lentil Stew
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions; chopped
2 medium carrots; diced
1 stalk celery; chopped
4 cloves garlic; minced
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3/4 lb green lentils; rinsed and drained
1 head of broccoli; chopped into small florets
3 medium tomatoes; chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 cups water/stock
1/4 cup lemon juice
10oz spinach; roughly chopped

Sweat the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cilantro until the onions have softened. Add the lentils, broccoli, tomatoes, spices and water/stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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