Sunday, January 2, 2011
Soeur Leila's Red Lentil Stew
This may not look like much but believe me when I say that is the most flavorful combination of comfort food ingredients: red lentils, noodles and crispy pita croutons. I've made this once before about a month ago and I was so impressed with it. Today was the perfect day for it as we just got a bit of rain outside. I got the recipe from a food memoir called "Memories of a Lost Egypt". You can find the recipe posted online here. Substitute water for the chicken broth and use a couple of quartered fresh tomatoes instead of canned. And do make the pita croutons. They are the perfect crispy accompaniment to the thick, luscious velvety stew. A squeeze of lemon prior to serving is nice as well.
Red Lentil Stew adapted from "Memories of a Lost Egypt"
2 cups red Lentils
4 cups water plus 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, cut into 1" pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 pound vermicelli or angel hair, broken. I used fine cut vermicelli like this.
Salt And Pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Pita bread cut into pieces
Combine lentils, water, 2 TB olive oil, onion, tomatoes, carrot, and zucchini in a soup pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are very soft. Puree entire mixture in a blender or food processor. Return to pot and add cumin, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. In another pan, saute chopped onion in 2 TB. olive oil until well browned. Add to stew along with the parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.
To make the croutons, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry pita bread pieces until browned. Drain on paper towel.