February 14, 2009

Use It or Lose It: Lentil & Roasted Tomato Curry Stew

Today's use-it-or-lose-it lunch had ingredient requirements of cherry tomatoes and some dry lentils leftover from a huge pot of tomato-lentil soup I made weeks ago. The obvious solution was lentil soup, so I scoured the internets far and wide for a recipe that a) pleased me and b) required only what I had in the house already. Shockingly, I was not inspired by any of the lentil ideas I found (ok so I didn't look around THAT long), so I gave up and decided to wing it.

Not feeling the idea of either a traditional lentil soup or a chili, I decided on Indian flavors after gazing at my spices for a while. I was also in the mood for something thick and rich (that's what she said!), so I wanted to make sure my concoction ended up more towards the stew end of the soup spectrum (as opposed to brothy). The result tasted just how I wanted it, so here are the ingredients and directions, enough for one generous serving:
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • dashes of coriander and dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup sliced carrots (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 cup diced onions (also frozen)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1 cup broth (I used low-sodium chicken broth) + 1/4 cup water (or more, if you want)
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

This is how I done it:

  1. Heat the oven to 350*. Coat a cookie sheet/Pyrex/whatever with cooking spray and put the tomatoes in, rolling/tossing to coat with the spray. Sprinkle on a bit of coriander and cilantro, or whatever you want them roasted with. When the oven is warm, roast the tomatoes for 15 minutes, more or less until the skin breaks open.
  2. When the tomatoes have about 5 minutes to go, heat the EVOO in a small pot or saucepan (about 2 qt.) over medium-high heat; add the carrots and onions to soften them up a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the tomatoes from the oven and toss them in a blender with the garlic clove. Puree 'til smooth (or not, we're wingin' it here, right?).
  4. Add the tomato goo, broth, water, lentils and spices to the pot and heat to boiling. Reduce to a simmer and put the lid on, tilted open slightly. Let it continue to cook this way, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and you've achieved the thickness (or lack thereof) you want - add more water if necessary. It took me about 30 minutes, and it could have gone a tad longer.

Again, me 'n' my belly ate the whole dang thing, so multiply as necessary if you plan on feeding more than one little piggie or want leftovers.

Now, as you know, I loves me some chocolate, or my name's not, well...Soap & Chocolate. It's simply not a meal without something sweet to finish it off (and it's Valentine's Day, people!), so I cracked open one of the Chocolove bars I picked up on sale at Whole Foods the other day...

Quite photogenic, aren't they? I had a little chunk of the one with orange peel. Whoo doggie! So good! I am in business for a WHILE. :)

Alright, time for some good old-fashioned girlie fun for my evening. Hope you get some good chocolate in today! After all, if you can't have chocolate on Valentine's Day, when can you?


Anonymous said...

Mmm chocolate! The curry stew also looks delicious and would be great on a cold day!