Just when we thought winter had come and gone, it appears to have reared its ugly head again.
Yes, I am a complete and utter wuss when it comes to the cold, how I survived 4 years in the UK is truly beyond me. Give me 40 degree weather and 90% humidity any day over overcast skies and torrential winds any day (…on second thought, maybe I’ll pass on the humidity).
In any case, given the unusual weather we’ve been having, I’m holding off on packing away my knitwear just yet. Another pertinent thought that crosses my mind while pondering just how long this inter-seasonal limbo will last is of course, food.
I find myself in a constant dilemma between fresh crunchy green salads or hearty rice dishes and warming soups. While a simple grain salad on greens with roasted veggies usually does the trick, some days I crave something just a little bit heartier. With that in mind I set about creating a hybrid of sorts – thus was born this Lentil Spinach and Lemon Stew.
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (you can use olive or canola oil if you prefer a more neutral taste)
- 3 cups organic vegetable stock (highly recommend the Kallo brand)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice + ½ tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup brown lentils, uncooked
- 3 cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Start by sautéing the chopped onion and garlic in your oil of choice on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the lentils and stir thoroughly before adding in the vegetable stock and lemon. Cover and let cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the lentils are about three quarters of the way cooked.
- Taste the broth and adjust seasonings as needed with salt, pepper and additional lemon if you like things extra tangy.
- Add in potato cubes and spinach then cover and cook until lentils are tender and the potato can be pierced with knife easily, about another 15 minutes.
Truth be told, this recipe was actually inspired by a lentil and lemon soup from one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Le Pain Quotidien, which I was lucky enough to frequent not once but thrice during my trip to Dubai last February.
It really is the perfect transitionary dish – half soup, half lentil stew with the addition of fresh greens and hearty potato. Have I mentioned how easy it is to throw together? The beauty of lentil dishes is that they tend to just cook and marinate themselves resulting in effortlessly flavour-packed creations.
And if you’re skeptical about the addition of lemon here, don’t be. It adds such an interesting flavor profile and really lightens the whole dish.
Until next time, friends.