Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have all made the most of the sunshine over the last few days. We certainly have.
We have had lots of family fun in the garden – playing in the paddling pool, playing swing ball (my arms are sore), playing on the trampoline and relaxing with music using our 90 days free Amazon Music Unlimited on our Echo Show (which is on offer at the moment).
Of course, as usual I have been non- stop cooking too. My passion for cooking seems to have reached a new level during the lockdown, and I am really enjoying sharing my food experiences with you.
For Easter Sunday I decided to make a Moroccan-spiced Bean & Lentil Stew which is packed with lentils, beans and vegetables and lots of fragrant spices.
Whilst the stew bubbled away, I sat in the garden with the sun on my face and closed my eyes – the smells of paprika, cumin and cinnamon flowed through the garden and I pictured myself in a Moroccan spice market full of beautiful colours. I love how food smells can transport you to far-away places without even leaving your home!
I used dried brown lentils and soaked them in water and a little cider vinegar before washing and cooking. This isn’t a necessary step, but I do recommend this as it is supposed to help with digestion. I like to cook the lentils for slightly longer than recommended on the pack too, just to get that thicker sauce and to allow the lentils more time to be infused with the flavours.
It is an easy stew to make, you just need a large casserole dish or dutch oven and plenty of veggies – and you can vary the spices and vegetables to suit your tastes of course.
I served the stew with potatoes sautéed with garlic and shallots. They were nice and crispy and a perfect pair with the stew. There is plenty left over for lunch today which I am looking forward to.
Hope you all stay safe and have a lovely Easter Monday!
Moroccan Bean and Lentil Stew
- TO PREPARE THE LENTILS
- 500 grams dried brown lentils
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- water to cover the lentils
- TO MAKE THE STEW
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon or 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon)
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 medium red onions diced
- 5 bay leaves
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 inch piece ginger chopped finely
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin borlotti beans
- 1 tin kidney beans
- 2 tbsp dairy-free plain yoghurt (we use Alpro)
- handful coriander for garnish
- To prepare the lentils, soak them in the water and cider vinegar for 1 hour then wash thoroughly.
- In a casserole or dutch oven, heat the oil with the cinnamon sticks (if using powder please add this when you add the rest of the spices) and cloves.
- Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
- Add the bay leaves, lentils, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, salt and chilli flakes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the stock, tomatoes and tomato puree and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the beans and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- When serving, stir in a little yoghurt and garnish with coriander.