I’ve been waiting for the perfect ‘soup-weather’ to make this stew.
I got a ton of beautiful in-season sweet potatoes from the market a few weekends ago but roasting them seemed more in tune with the dry winter days we were having.
It rained incessantly this past weekend and it got dark, cold and miserable – it seemed like the optimal weather to stay inside and make soup, or stew in this instance.
It’s lentils with mushroom, kale and sweet potato stewed together in a comforting spicy broth, and finished off with a generous splash of coconut milk and white wine.
The flavours are bold and fragrant and the pot when it’s bubbling away on the stove fills my tiny kitchen with such warmth and comfort.
My mom used to make a stewed root vegetable dish like this when we were kids. Hers had taro root and red palm oil cooked in a pungent broth with tomatoes, onions, peppers and smoked fish to make a thick mushy pottage.
I love sweet potatoes and the subtle sweetness it adds to this concoction. It’s also rich in vitamin A and high in fibre. Lentils are good in here too; nutty and earthy and full of good proteins and heart healthy dietary fibre.
The mushrooms are mild and a little smoky with a wonderful boost of umami, they become juicy and chewy in the stew.
Kale, hearty and robust and vitamin-packed adds substance and vibrancy. For spices, there’s a dash of cumin and sprinkle of turmeric and a pinch of salt to bring it all together.
It’s simple and nourishing; the kind of stew that warms you up on a wet and dark winter evening.
- 1 cup dry French green lentils, rinsed (or 2 – 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
- 3 – 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 large bell pepper, sliced
- 2 – 3 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 – 2 bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped roughly
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- To cooks lentils, add lentils together with garlic to a saucepan and pour vegetable broth or water over it, lentils should be completely submerged in the liquid
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook uncovered for 15 minutes until lentils start to soften (Add a little more broth or water if needed to ensure lentils are completely submerged in liquid while they cook)
- Add salt, reduce heat and let lentils cook for an additional 3 minutes
- Remove from heat, discard garlic and set aside (do not drain!)
- Heat coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat
- Add onion and cook, stirring often, for about 3 – 4 minutes until onions begin to soften
- Add garlic and salt, stir and cook until garlic smells fragrant, about 30 seconds
- Add ground cumin, bell pepper, mushroom, kale and sweet potatoes, toss together gently and cook for another 5 minutes
- Stir in tomato paste, pepper flakes and turmeric
- Add coconut milk and wine and 1 cup of liquid (or more depending on how saucy or dry you want your stew) from the cooked lentils and stir
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes
- Add lentils and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until stew becomes fragrant and potatoes are cooked through.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Stew will be good for 3 – 4 days
- Keep leftovers in the fridge, the stew will thicken as the lentils will continue to swell, reheat with a bit of vegetable stock or water to thin it out if desired.