sprouted lentil stew with carrots, zucchini, and sweet potatoes
recipe under the cut!
- 1 cup dried lentils (I used brown but it doesn’t matter)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 zucchini
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 small yellow onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup broken vermicelli or other pasta (optional)
- 2 litres vegetable stock or broth
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds or 4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds or 4 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp fennel seeds or ¾ tsp ground fennel
- ½ tsp anise seeds or ¾ tsp ground anise
- ½ tsp caraway seeds or ¾ tsp ground caraway
- ½ tsp mixed Italian herbs
- 2 tsp whole black pepper or 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp whole white pepper or ½ ground white pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt or to taste
- lemon juice or cheese to serve (optional)
1. sprout lentils: rinse them and soak them in a generous amount of water (they’ll roughly double in size) overnight. drain and rinse and leave them in a jar or other container for two to three days,
rinsing and draining them about once a day, until they’ve grown tails 2-3 centimeters in length.
2. prepare vegetables: peel carrots and sweet potatoes and cut into small cubes; slice and quarter zucchini; peel tomatoes (letting them sit in boiling water for about a minute will make this easy) and dice them; dice onions and mince garlic.
3. (optional, if not using store-bought) make broth by placing vegetable scraps and peels, along with bay leaves and a few teaspoons of whole spices, in a large pot with enough water to cover. cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for at least an hour. you can use almost anything for this but you’ll want to avoid using cruciferous vegetables or too many onion scraps lest the broth become bitter.
4. (if using whole spices) toast bay leaves, coriander, black pepper, white pepper, cumin, fennel, anise, and caraway seeds over medium heat in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant and a shade darker. you may want to toast the coriander and pepper separately as they may take a bit longer than the smaller seeds. allow to cool, grind using a mortar & pestle or spice/coffee grinder, and sieve. add herbs and salt.
5. heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high until sputtering. add onions and a few teaspoons of the spice mixture and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. add sweet potatoes, carrots, and remaining spices and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often.
6. add diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. raise heat to high and bring to a boil. taste and adjust spices. lower heat and cover. simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes and carrots are almost cooked.
7. add zucchini and cook for another 15 minutes.
add lentils and cook until warmed through. (optional) add pasta at the appropriate point for it to be cooked at the end of the cooking time.
8. taste and adjust spices. (optional) serve with lemon juice or grated cheese.