Recipe: Cold-Fighting Lentil + Coconut Stew

You know that feeling. Just a little soreness in the back of the throat. Extremely tired. I've got something brewing, but before I start cramming down the over-the-counter cold and pain meds, I'm gonna come at this thing with a big bowl of soup! Specifically soup with loads of fresh garlic (with a strong cold-fighting reputation), ginger and turmeric (two more powerful allies  in the fight). 


This recipe is also full of leafy greens, protein & iron-filled lentils, and it's delicious! Let me know if you give it a try:

Lentil + Coconut Stew

Makes 6 servings. Adapted from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced and allowed to sit for at least 10 minutes before cooking
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
Optional: ¼ tsp cayenne or ground chipotle chile
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon mustard seed OR prepared mustard
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon turmeric
3 cups of water or vegetable stock
1.5 cups of brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 large yam, chopped roughly into half-inch chunks (I used a Japanese yam with a purple skin and white flesh)
A few big handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup (1/2 a can) coconut milk (this is the stuff in the can in the International aisle, not “Coconut Beverage” found in the refrigerated dairy section)
Ground black pepper to taste (important to help the turmeric do its job!)

Add a teaspoon or two of water to a large soup pot, add the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger, cover and cook for about 10 minutes till softened, stirring occasionally and adding another teaspoon or two of water if needed to prevent from sticking or burning. 

Add the spices, stirring well for about one minute.

Add the stock, lentils and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. 

Add the coconut milk and spinach and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables and potatoes are very soft. 

Season with black pepper and serve.