Rachel's Digestif

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Farro and Lentil Stew: A comforting start to the New Year

Happy 2013 to all!  I hope everyone brought in the New Year safely and surrounded by family and friends.  Today is my mother’s birthday, so a very Happy Birthday to her as well!  Happy Birthday, Mom!  May this New Year bring peace, creativity, and happiness to us all.  

I still have a few days off before the second half of the school year starts up, and while I have a bit of lesson planning to cram in before it begins, I also want to spend these next few days relaxing, catching up on organizing my life, and spending time with friends while I have more free time on my hands.  

Part of the life organization portion and one of my resolutions for 2013 involves me catching up on blogging.  As I scrolled through my photo archives, I realized I have a few recipes that I never got around to sharing, recipes I quite enjoyed and fully intended on posting.  Thus, I share with you today a hearty, healthy winter stew from the ever wonderful Heidi Swanson cookbook, Super Natural Every Day.  

This farro and lentil stew doesn’t look like much when it comes to together.  It’s honestly not the most attractive of foods.  But the flavors and textures come together quite nicely and the end result is a wonderful vegetarian stew that promises to warm you up on a chilly winter evening.  The stew is comprised mainly of farro, lentils, and sweet potato chunks.  Curry powder lends just the right amount of spice and heat, while a swirl of lemon infused Greek yogurt adds the perfect complimentary tang to complete the dish.  

Do something fun today to kick 2013 off right!  Happy New Year!

Farro and Lentil Stew

Recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and diced sweet potato or winter squash (I went with sweet potato and added a little extra)
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Indian curry powder
  • 2/3 cup whole or semi-pearled farro, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups green or black lentils, picked over and rinsed 
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable broth or water 
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or Greek-style yogurt, or creme fraiche (I like the thickness of Greek-style, so I used that)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and sweet potato. Add a big pinch of salt and saute until the onions soften a bit, a couple of minutes. Add the curry powder and stir until the onions and sweet potatoes are coated and the curry is fragrant, a minute or so. Add the farro, lentils, and 6 cups of the broth. Bring to boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 50 minutes, or until the farro and lentils are cooked through. (If you’re using semi-pearled farro, the cooking time is about 25 minutes.) Taste and season with more salt if needed; how much you’ll need depends on the saltiness of your broth. Don’t under-salt; the soup will taste flat.

While the soup is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Serve each bowl of soup topped with a dollop of lemon yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Filed under farro lentils sweet potato stew winter curry greek yogurt vegetarian