- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 23 Times
During the long winter months, this is the kind of hearty, legume-based stew with which Southern Europeans bring the sunshine back into their homes. The version we present here is virtually foolproof, requiring just a minimum of attention — and little effort if one uses canned chickpeas (washed with cold running water and strained). Leftovers are wonderful, since the flavors will intensify upon reheating the next day. It can be enjoyed as a vegetarian main course (just omit the sausages) or you can experiment with substitutes for the sausage; any stewing meat (pork, lamb or chicken) will work well. In all cases, the stew is wonderful if served with a salad and crusty bread.
- ½ cup (125 mL) red lentils (masoor dal)
- 1 cup (250 mL) diced peeled potatoes
- ½ cup (125 mL) scraped carrots, cut into ¼-inch (5 mm) cubes
- Boiling water
- ¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
- 1 tsp (5 mL)sweet paprika
- ¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) turmeric
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped onions
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) chili flakes
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped garlic
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) wedges
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
- ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
- 2 cups (500 mL) cooked chickpeas or 1 can (19 oz [540 mL]) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 dried figs, cut into ¼-inch (5 mm) cubes
- 1 lb (500 g) spicy sausage (such as merguez, chorizo or spicy Italian)
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely minced red onions
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
1. Soak lentils in boiling water to cover for 20 minutes; drain. Bring 5 cups (1.25 L) water to a boil; stir in lentils and cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring very occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not quite crumbling. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Set lentils and vegetables aside. Measure out 1 ½ cups (375 mL) of the cooking liquid and set aside. (If there isn’t enough liquid, make up the difference with water.)
2. In a large deep saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add paprika, salt, pepper and turmeric; cook, stirring, for 1 minute, being careful not to let the spices burn. Add onions and chili flakes; cook, stirring, 4 minutes until the onions are soft and beginning to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, vinegar, oregano and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tomatoes are starting to break up and a sauce forms.
3. Stir in lentil-vegetable mixture, chickpeas, figs and reserved cooking liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally from the bottom up to avoid scorching. Take off heat, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. While stew rests, grill, broil or fry the sausages. Serve stew garnished with sausages, red onions and parsley.
© 1998 Byron Ayanoglu and Algis Kemezy