[video] Mediterranean Lentil and Spinach Stew with Pickled Onion and Feta
In this episode of Cooking Outside the Box, Cynthia shows us how to make a delicious and nutritious lentil soup! Recipe below.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red garnet yam, cubed
- 1 cup French lentils
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 6 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and spun dry (~ 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Fresh ground pepper
- 2-3 ounces feta cheese
- ½ small red onion, sliced into paper thin half moons (for pickled onions)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried currants
- pinch of sea salt
- Heat oil to medium low in a large soup pot
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden. Be patient.
- Add yams, lentils, stock, tomato sauce, and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and let lightly bubble for 45-50 minutes. Taste to make sure lentils and sweet potato are tender.
- Combine onion slices with vinegar, currants and salt and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Chop baby spinach leaves. In a separate skillet, heat to medium low, add butter, sage, and thyme. Stir to soften. Add baby spinach and sprinkle with a teaspoon or two or water. Cover and let baby spinach wilt – about 30 seconds.
- Add baby spinach and herbs to simmering stew and briefly heat together before serving.
- Add vinegar and black pepper to stew. Taste and add more if needed.
- Serve stew with a pinch of pickled onions and a sprinkle of feta on top.
Transcription: Let’s make some lentil soup. A soup is so forgiving. You can put all kinds of vegetables in it, and everybody loves it.
Most soups start with onions, right? Beautiful, little onions, so we are going to put those in a warm pot with some olive oil. There you go. Let’s put a little salt in here because the salt helps the onions release their juices.
This is a Mediterranean lentil soup, which means it has some Mediterranean flavors in there, like garlic and some of the woody herbs, like sage and thyme. Look how the onions are getting kind of golden. That is what you want.
Olive oil, onion, garlic, nice and golden, smelly, and four more things. Sweet potatoes, little baby French lentils, a little tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Sweet potatoes, that is about one medium sweet potato. You could also use carrots. These little charcoal-colored lentils are called French lentils. That is four cups of chicken broth, but you could also use vegetable broth if you want this to be a vegetarian soup.
Okay. I am going to cook this in a pressure cooker because it cooks in 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. But don’t get scared, don’t get worried. You can cook it in a regular, nice soup pot. It just takes a little bit longer, like 50, 60 minutes.
While that soup is cooking, we are going to make this cool, little pickled red onion relish stuff to put on top of the soup. My friend Becky Selengut taught me how to make this. You are going to take a half of a red onion, and I am going to cut it teeny, tiny, in little teeny, tiny half-moons. These go in a little bowl with a tablespoon of currants, and it is kind of cool because the currants make it sweeter, which is nice, and three tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would work okay too. Put a little salt on there. So you toss these together. It takes about 30 minutes. Every once in a while you can come by and you give them a little tumble.
Soup is finished. Onions are pickled, and we are going to do the finishing touch for the soup, which is to add some herbs and some greens. You don’t want to add herbs too soon because they are kind of delicate and they will lose their flavor. They like to go in right at the end. Two tablespoons of fresh thyme and fresh sage, yum. These marry so beautifully with lentils. Now, let’s put some greens in there. This is baby spinach that is washed and still a little bit wet. Maybe 10 seconds to wilt, not very long, and the water that is clinging on the spinach will help it steam.
Soup is done and you want to test it. Make sure that the sweet potato or carrot, if you use that, is nice and tender in there and that the lentils have kind of melted. Then we are going to add the spinach to that. Oh, that is pretty, isn’t it? Little fresh ground pepper, yes.
Let’s eat. It is good. This is thick and hardy. Every lovely outfit needs a hat and some jewelry, so we’re going to put a little bling on top, right? This adds a little acid and a little crunch and a little sweetness. One more thing, a little crumble of Valbreso feta cheese.
Look how pretty and pink those pickled onions are. Lentil soup. Wow.
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