Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Curried Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew


I feel like I'm supposed to post something Thanksgiving-y, but I got nothing. Only this amazing stew from Bon Appetit. This is a really good, spicy, rainy day stew. The flavors meld together so nicely, the stew is so thick you could eat it on a plate, and it warms you up as the weather gets colder. Perhaps you could make this after Thanksgiving to take a break from having the same leftovers. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare this stew, so it's nice and quick. It pairs well with a thick slice of hearty whole grain bread.

You can use any kind of lentil, really, but the recipe calls for red. Regular lentils are the cheapest (around $1/lb), next are French lentils (more than $1/lb), and red is the most expensive (just over $2/lb). If you use regular lentils, just be sure to simmer them for about double the time or more. Red lentils cook in about 10 minutes, but regular lentils could take 20-25 minutes. Just test them. If they're tender, they're done.

For the garnish, use plain, low-fat Greek yogurt or plain, low-fat regular yogurt. Don't skip it, because it really completes the soup! The cool, thick yogurt cuts the heat nicely and brings a rich creaminess to this dish. I use regular yogurt and strain it in a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl for 2-3 hours. The stew makes good leftovers warmed up in a pita. Hope you like it, let me know how it turns out!



Curried Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew
Makes about 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
42 ounces (just over 5 cups) vegetable broth
1 large (or 2 small) bunch Swiss chard, rinsed, chopped, with tough stalks removed
15 ounces (one can) chickpeas
1 pound (about 2 1/4 cups) lentils
plain yogurt, for a garnish

Heat oil in large pot, and saute onions for about 13 minutes. Mix in curry powder and cayenne pepper and stir. Add vegetable broth and Swiss chard. Bring to a boil and add chickpeas and lentils. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes (if using regular or French lentils, simmer for 20-25 minutes). Serve into bowls and top with yogurt.

1 comment:

tsippor said...

That yogurt idea is brillant! Matt made this curried corn and spinach dish that was too over-spiced. So i remembered your yogurt suggestion. It totally changed the flavor of the dish... it went from being our least favorite, to the main course we were both vying for! Thanks for the tip. =)