A Hearty Stew for the New Year: Jan. 2009

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Hearty Lentil – Garbanzo Stew

Utensils: Dutch Oven or Crock Pot, Sauce Pan, Cutting Board, Knife, Strainer or Colander
Prep. Time: 15 min. (plus extra time if you sprout lentils and soak chickpeas)
Cooking Time: One hour to simmer
Category VEGAN

Ingredients (Organic whenever possible)

2 cups water or soup stock
2 cups (sprouted) lentils*
one cup cooked (or soaked*) chickpeas
½ cup sliced celery or fennel (1/2 in. pieces)
one carrot, scrubbed and cut into rings
herbs to taste (parsley, chives, thyme, etc.)
miso+ or salt & pepper
one-two Tbl. olive oil
kale (optional)
+ Items in bold italics can be found in the Glossary

Directions

*Note: I recommend soaking dry garbanzos the night before, draining them in the morning, and placing them on a cookie sheet or pan in the freezer for a couple of hours before starting the stew. If you prefer the short cut, just purchase one can of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and drain them. The lentils really need no soaking, but for increased nutrition, soak two nights before, drain into a colander and allow to sprout 48 hours, rinsing two to three times and draining before adding to the pot.

1. Place frozen or cooked garbanzo beans and (sprouted) lentils in a crockpot or Dutch oven and add water or stock to cover the lentils & beans. (Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to add a little more water or broth during cooking.)

2. Add celery or fennel, carrot, and herbs to taste, as well as salt and pepper. (If using miso paste, wait until the end of cooking.) When using soup stock, you will need less seasoning, so add accordingly.

3. Put the flame on LOW or the crockpot on LOW and allow to cook for at least one hour. Check to be sure there is enough liquid. If not, add ½ cup – one cup as needed.

4. (Optional step): Near the end of the cooking, rip two or three leaves of kale and cook on a low flame with enough water to cover in a separate sauce pan for 20 minutes to remove the sometimes bitter taste. Drain the kale and add to finished stew. (Leftover water can be cooled and used for plants.)

5. If using miso, take some of the liquid from the stew, place in a small bowl, and mash one tablespoon of miso into the liquid until it is dissolved. Then add back to the stew. Do not use boiling water, since it destroys the enzymes in the miso.

6. Add the drained and cooked kale, the olive oil, and mix together. Serve using a slotted spoon, unless you want the extra liquid.

Nutrition Note: Miso is a wonderful addition to many of my dishes. I plan to post a profile of miso this month in the Product Information Corner.

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