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Author Notes: Dateline January 2013: It was cold. Frost covering all of the windows, earmuffs under a hat under a hood, three paris of socks inside of winter boots kind of cold. Way too cold to go outside, so I spent the day in the kitchen (in my pajamas) with a newly acquired 4lb bag of red lentils. We had some fun, that bag of lentils and I. And we came up with this recipe. It is a rough approximation of a traditional Ethiopian stew I had once upon a time. The flavors are bold and bright and work just as well at the first hint of fall as they do in the dead of winter. Serve the stew and greens on their own or over a bed of rice or other grains. And, if you're feeling particularly bold, I recommend trying it over a bed of mashed potatoes. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me- you'll have a kind of reverse shepherd's pie situation happening. Heavenly. —Slow Club Cookery
- 2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed, drained and picked over for debris
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium yellow or sweet onions, diced
- 8 cloves of garlic (1 head) finely minced
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 8 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach, kale, arugula, chard or other seasonal cooking greens
- extra crushed red pepper for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and ginger, stirring every 15 seconds or so. Cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt and red pepper, cook for 1 minute.
- Add lentils, stirring to incorporate into the mix. Cook for 30 seconds longer, allowing mix to become fragrant.
- Add stock and tomatoes, stir well to incorporate. Turn burner to low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so.
- Once the 30 minutes are up, taste your soup, adding more salt if needed. If the mix looks a little on the thick side, add more stock or crushed tomatoes, 1/4c at a time.
- Stir in greens right before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Restorative Recipes
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Autumn Soup