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Pantry Raid: Hearty Lentil Stew

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Penny Pinching Epicure: Pantry Raid: Hearty Lentil Stew

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pantry Raid: Hearty Lentil Stew

Today, I came home from work craving something to chase away the cold, rainy gloom. A quick peek in pantry yielded some red lentils, and the fridge held the remnants of a soup from last week (carrots, celery and onions). Throw in some earthy spices and a bit of fresh grated ginger, and voila! A rich lentil stew that was both hearty and delicious. Just the thing for a rainy day :)

Two notes about lentils: (1) You don't need to soak them like you do beans, but you should pick through them to make sure there isn't any debris like little stones and such. You should also rinse them until the water runs clear to get rid of any grit. (2) Lentils get mushy easily so you have to watch them. I personally like a softer texture, but if you like a more "al dente" lentil, reduce the liquid and cooking time.

Hearty Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
2 cups red lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp allspice
dash of cumin
3 cups water

Directions:
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan and saute onion over medium-high heat until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add carrots & celery and cook until veggies are soft, stirring often.
  2. Add lentils; sprinkle in ginger & spices and stir to combine.
  3. Add water and stir to combine. Raise flame and heat to a rolling boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, 15-20 minutes.
The cost:
onion: .35
carrots: .15
celery: .10
lentils: 1.13

Grand total: $1.73; serves 4-6 over rice with a side of toasted pita chips

Update: Eating this for lunch, I realized throwing some raisins in with the spices would have made a great addition. I'll have to try that next time.

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