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Lentil-Spinach Stew

Don't miss this stew.  This is out of this world!  

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

                           Lentil-Spinach Stew

Recipe By     : Beth Jayapalan/Ruth Hoffman
Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Beans                            Casseroles
                Ethnic                           Main Dishes, Vegetarian
                Soups                            Vegetarian

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1      cup           dry lentils
   1      medium        onion -- chopped (1/2 cup)
   2      cloves        garlic -- minced
   1      tablespoon    broth or water -- (more if needed)
   4      cups          water
   1      can           tomatoes -- cut up (7-1/2 oz.)
   4      teaspoons     instant vegetable bouillon granules
   1      tablespoon    vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
     1/2  teaspoon      salt
     1/2  teaspoon      dried thyme -- crushed
     1/4  teaspoon      fennel seed -- crushed
     1/4  teaspoon      pepper
   1                    bay leaf
   2      medium        carrots -- chopped (1 cup)
   1      package       frozen chopped spinach -- (10 oz.)
   1      tablespoon    balsamic vinegar -- or red wine vinegar

Rinse lentils; set aside.  In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in broth till tender but not brown.  Stir in the lentils, water, tomatoes, bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, fennel seed, pepper, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add carrots and frozen spinach.  Bring to a boil, breaking up spinach with a fork; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or till lnetils are tender.  Stir in vnegar.  Discard bay leaf.  To serve, ladle into individual bowls.
This is from a friend's vegetarian Indian cookbook--sorry, I don't know which one.  It's an Indian dish but the Hindi name wasn't given.

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NOTES : * I used 4 or 5 cloves of garlic--we love garlic.
* I used a 14-1/2 oz. can of tomatoes--we love tomatoes.
* I forgot to put in the vinegar at the end.  No one knew the difference, but the friend who gave me the recipe said it adds a nice dimension to the dish.
* For the bouillon granules, I used NutraSoup powder, same measurement.  It was that or a veg bouillon cube, and I figured the powder was easier to measure and get the equivalent amount.
* If you remove the lid at the end for a couple of minutes, you'll get a more stew-like consistency.  Otherwise, it's more like a thick soup.  Either way, this dish is absolutely delicious.  It's just as good warmed up (we're empty-nesters, so we couldn't eat the whole pot by ourselves in one sitting!).  It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it's really easy.  One could also adapt it for crockpot cooking, I should think.