Country of Origin:
1 cup French green lentils
3 bay leaves
2 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed hot chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 8-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
You can buy precooked lentils to save a couple of steps. Feel free to throw in more veggies as well!
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Stir in lentils, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves.
3. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer lentils until they are cooked but still firm (about 10 minutes). Drain well.
4. Place lentils in a bowl, and remove bay leaves and whole garlic cloves and set aside.
5. Toss lentils with olive oil, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic.
6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large pot over medium heat.
7. Stir in chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander; cook until fragrant.
8. Add onion, celery, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, squash, and remaining garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes.
9. Mix in lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas, and vegetable stock.
10. Raise heat to medium-high and cook until stew just begins to boil; reduce heat to low and cover.
11. Simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
12. Add the chopped parsley.
13. Ladle stew into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some chopped mint, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
What makes this recipe special?
We first tried this recipe on a college friend's trip to celebrate turning 30. It was one of the rare times that all 14 of us college friends were able to get together, without anyone missing. We enjoyed the stew alongside laughs and some wine. Since then, I have made this countless times for gatherings and dinner parties, and have shared the recipe constantly.
Adding mint, parsley, yogurt, and cayenne to the stew before eating is a step that should not be missed! You can also serve this stew over couscous for a heartier option.