All throughout this year, as we’ve been working from home, we’ve found ourselves gravitating towards soups and stews: they’re easy to throw together and also nice and filling in the middle of the day. Best of all, we like the “a little bit of everything” nature of stews – they allow us to clean out our fridge and make use of things that might soon be going bad by just throwing stuff into a pot and cooking everything together. If you want a little more direction in making a good, warm stew, today’s recipe can help: we based it on something we saw in the New York Times. There’s a lot of different things here, blending together well into a healthy and hearty meal, and while there is cheese in this dish you can easily leave it out for a vegan stew.
To make this, you’ll need:
You’ll first want to start with your eggplant: cut it into chunks and mix with 1/4 cup olive oil, a tablespoon of coriander, and some salt and pepper.
Lay the eggplant out on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 25 minutes. While you’re waiting, boil 5 cups of water and stir in the bouillon cubes, and also chop your carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 3 garlic cloves. Warm another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook these vegetables for a few minutes, until they soften, then add in a tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes.
Mix in a cup of lentils, then pour in your vegetable stock and let everything simmer for 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add in the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes.
Once the pasta is done, zest your lemon and stir this in along with the lemon’s juice. Divide the stew out into bowls and top with pieces of roasted eggplant. Crumble some feta on top (if you’re using it), and you can serve the stew with extra slices of lemon.
Just like any good stew, you’ve got here some good veggies as a base, and then you build on top of that with lentils, pasta, and eggplant. All these different elements go well together to create a filling stew made of up delicious proteins, carbs, and vegetables. And while you might not think that cheese belongs in a stew, the feta is a great addition that complements your meal without melting into it. It’s also fairly easy to throw this together for lunch, since the stew basically simmers and roasts itself. This is a great way to put any lentils and pasta you might have lying around to use, and with the vegetables, grains, and beans it’s a pretty tasty and complete meal.