Stew for the ice age

October 9, 2009 § 5 Comments


My office is officially the coldest place on earth. Winter has come early to the area immediately around my desk, and my typing speed has noticeably slowed due to the numbness of my fingers. In fact, the temperature is now extreme enough that I’m starting to think this an elaborate experiment designed to test the limits of human endurance. Am I exaggerating? Perhaps. At any rate, the frigid temperatures have set off my cravings for hearty food. Which is why instead of making the tart I had planned, I made stew.


Specifically, curried red lentil and swiss chard stew, with chickpeas. It was a really speedy recipe, and it turned out exactly like what I was craving, warmly spiced and comforting. I honestly was surprised at how tasty it was. This is clearly not in the same vein as recipes posted earlier – I think this stew currently feels like the kid who didn’t get picked in gym class – but I had to include it, despite the ugliness of my night-time photos. It’s just perfect. And ridiculously healthy. How often does that happen?


Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew with Chickpeas – adapted from Epicurious

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 teaspoons curry powder (varies with your curry powder and preference)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • approximately 40 oz vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches Swiss chard, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 12 cups)
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • Salt to taste
  • Plain yogurt

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Mix in curry, garam masala, and cayenne. Add broth and chard. Increase heat; bring to boil. Add lentils and chickpeas; reduce heat to medium.

Cover; simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed. Divide stew among bowls. Top with yogurt.



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