Spending 3 weeks in Italy eating nothing but cured meats, cheeses, homemade pasta and drinking wine left me with a serious hankering for vegetables last week. Vegetables and lentils, precisely.
I’m new to cooking with saffron but just have to say, whatever ridiculous price Whole Foods overcharged me for a pinch of saffron -it was worth it- and I’m going back for more.
With the exception of one serving spared for my new husband, I ate the entire pot in a matter of 3 days. Man did that get my digestion back on track after 3 weeks of traveling. I almost feel like I hoarded it to myself but in my defense the hubs went out of town for work for a night and well, by the time he got back it was too late. Sorry, husband.
What I love most? This stew was fully cooked and full of flavor in under an hour. Under an hour! The orange veggies add the perfect amount of sweet to balance the spice without a pinch of added sugar. It’s certainly going onto our rotating list of favorites and next time I’m doubling the batch so we have extra for freezing and maybe an extra bowl for the hubs.
- 1 cup green lentils, heaping
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 medium or 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 extra large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
- 2 medium, vine-ripened tomatoes, food processed or blended until mostly smooth
- freshly ground pepper
- 4-5 fistfuls baby spinach, washed
Combine the lentils, vegetable broth, water, onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Rub saffron between your fingers and add to the pot, along with the turmeric. Stir, reduce the heat, add salt to taste, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the remaining ingredients except the spinach. Return to a simmer, cover and simmer an additional 25-30 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove the onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf and salt/pepper to taste. Stir the spinach into the hot stew a 5-7 minutes before serving to allow it to wilt.
Saffron – suggestions for finding it for a reasonable price?
I leave garlic in, added curry last time. One of my favorites.
Sounds delish! Do you really remove the onion, garlic and bay leaf?
Most of the time! Otherwise I’ll dice the onion, mince the garlic and leave them in. Bay leaf always comes out. :)
I stumbled across this recipe on MyFitnessPal last week. I made it and Oh My Word! So delicious! I have it with brown rice and it’s so tasty and filling. I am pretty much going to live on this now! Great recipe!
Why do you take out the onions & garlic? Can’t you just chop those & leave them in the stew?
just made this for dinner. It was absolutley delicious and I will be making it again!
Were the lentils already cooked? It didn’t specify
No, they were uncooked. Sorry about that!
I made this except I substituted one too many things and it turned into more of a soup…. So I put it in my vitamix and turned into a blended soup! It went over gear and was delicious!
Blending is always a good option in that scenario. Glad it turned out okay!
Mmmm, this has just about all of my favorite things! I saved the recipe and hope to make it soon. I’ll also be checking back to see if anyone has suggestions for finding saffron at that reasonable price.
i would love to try this recipe sometime soon. anything that can be made ahead or frozen always helps.
I so agree! The freezer is my friend.
This looks delish!
OMG my mouth is watering right now! I’m trying this this weekend…