When you crave something hearty, soul-satisfying and purely warming, reach for this seasonal recipe that comforts you while also supplying wholesome ingredients. This all-vegetarian stew is full of plant protein, fiber, antioxidants and ample fall spices. Don’t be intimidated by the cilantro oil—once you make this stunning green condiment, you’ll be looking for other recipes to use it in.
Makes about 4 servings
Cook time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, diced pumpkin, squash, or sweet potato (from about 1 medium pumpkin or 3 sweet potatoes)
1 tablespoon honey, optional
1 cup dried green or red lentils
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh mint, for serving
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
¼ cup olive oil
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium; add onion and carrots and cook until softened, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon, allspice and garlic; stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add broth, pumpkin and optional honey to stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 10 minutes.
Add lentils to stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are softened, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the cilantro oil: Puree cilantro and oil in a blender until smooth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer in to a small bowl; set aside.
To serve stew: Season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in fresh mint. Spoon into serving bowls; drizzle with cilantro oil and enjoy immediately.
Photos by Kimberley Stakal