When the weather turns nasty and grey, my brain goes to warm soups and stews. Extra bonus if I can whip it up without much fuss (I'm lazy, can you tell?). Extra extra bonus if it can be made with ingredients I pretty much always have on hand.
This recipe is a version of one given to me by a friend a few years ago, and I am constantly being surprised when I make it again. It needs to have a more constant spot on my dinner rotation, because like the spices it's based on, it is warm, comforting, and oddly elegant with the bright garnish.
Here come the lentils. Hope you're hungry!
MOST DELICIOUS LENTIL SOUP/STEW
1 cup split red lentils
3/4 cup finely chopped onions (food processor helps a ton!)
3 cups water
1/2 t (heaping) each tumeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder
3 garlic gloves
1 hot pepper
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 T coconut oil or ghee or vegetable oil
16 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 T vegetable oil to drizzle on top
1/2 t salt
Chopped cilantro and tomatoes for optional garnish
1) Combine the lentils, onions, water, tumeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder in a medium sized saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, chili, and ginger, and process until fine.
3) In a small skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until just starting to brown, about 2 minutes.
4) Stir the garlic mixture, tomatoes, oil, and salt into the lentils.
5) Cook, covered, 20 minutes, or until the lentil mixture is thickened.
Serve garnished with the fresh coriander and sliced tomatoes. Awesome with fresh naan and yogurt.