I am renowned for making delicious mouthwatering stews. This recipe is too thick to call it a soup. It isn’t a soup, it is a stew, it’s filling, rich and hearty. I have to say that this is probably one of the best stews I have ever created. I can tell you it tastes 100 times better than it looks, and it’s quite a beauty as it is. I have combined a savoury dish with slightly sweet undertones, slightly spicy, but not hot. The gravy sauce is like nectar, just so delicious. I combined the dish with olive and garlic bread. The result has got to be experienced. And so I won’t say any more.
1½ cups green lentils, pre-soaked
extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large courgette/zucchini, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tbsp date syrup
1 vegetable stock cube (Kallo or similar)
1 heaped tsp brown miso
½ tsp ground coriander
a pinch of smoked paprika
smoked salt & pepper
2 cups water
1 tsp lime zest, for garnishing
freshly chopped parsley, for garnishing
- Pre-boil the lentils until soft, but don’t overcook them.
- Heat your oil in a large saucepan, and sauté your carrots and celery. Stir gently every half minute or so, and then spoon in your courgettes, adding in your garlic a few minutes later. Watch over this mixture, stirring over a 5 minute period, until some of the veggies wilt.
- Now spoon in your tomato puree, mix well, lower the heat, and allow enough time for the red of the paste to fully incorporate with the vegetables.
- Next, stir in the tomato pulp, and add the the remaining ingredients, except for the water, garnishes and cooked lentils.
- Add the water a little at a time, until the required consistency is achieved. It is important to make sure that all the vegetables soften, especially the carrots and celery, so be sure to have added all your water by now, then simmer uncovered until slightly thick.
- Once your vegetables are nice and soft, use a ladel to remove 2 ladelfuls of the stew into a food processor, and process until smooth – I added quarter of a cup of water to this. Once processed, add the lentils to the stew and then pour over the thick mixture, stirring gently to incorporate it.
- Remember to add your garnishes before serving, and taste for seasoning.
- Cover and simmer gently for 15 mins, during which time you can prepare your olive bread.
INGREDIENTS FOR OLIVE BREAD
18 black roasted or calamatta olives without stones
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
METHOD FOR OLIVE BREAD
- Process the above for a few seconds only, as you want some texture to remain. Decant into a small bowl.
- Spoon the mixture with a teaspoon onto whatever bread you fancy. Ciabatta works very well with this.
- Pop it in the oven until the edges go golden, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with your stew.
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suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike