Comforting and healthy sweet potato soupy stew

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This stew is so hearty and easy to make.  One batch will feed 8 greedy people or you can freeze individual portions for a later date.  It is packed full of healthy goodies, has tons of fibre and is low in fat.  You could also stir some shredded kale in a couple of minutes before the end of cooking to get some extra goodness in.

Now that Meat Free Monday is gaining momentum, I’m sure some of you are integrating more vegetarian dishes into your week. This is a great one for that.

My kids loved it with some yoghurt stirred through to tone down the spices a little.  It isn’t spicy though, more fragrant.  To serve, you can either do as I did in this photo and top it with some cilantro leaves, a spoon of plain yoghurt and a few drops of Sriracha (or any chilli sauce).  Or you can a full meal of it and add the yummy goats cheese and mango chutney croutons below.

I grew up on mature cheddar and mango chutney sandwiches (try them if you never have) so this is the next step in deliciousness.  If you don’t want to use goats cheese you could easily use Cheddar and swap the bread for a wholemeal pitta to make it a bit healthier.

Sweet potato and lentil stew (serves 8) Active prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 35-40 minutes

Stew ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion (sliced into half moons as thin as you can)
  • 8 medium carrots (thinly sliced coins)
  • 2 celery stems (chopped as finely as you can)
  • 5 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 2 sweet potatoes (cut into small cubes, skin left on; about 1 cup)

Cheese and mango chutney croutons

  • 1 cup goat cheese or shredded mature Cheddar
  • 1/3 cup mango chutney
  • Optional – 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 loaf of focaccia bread (cut into wedges) or 6 wholemeal pittas

To make the stew

  1. Put the olive oil into a large, lidded saucepan and warm over a medium heat before adding the onion and celery.  Cook for around 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for around 3 more minutes.
  3. Add in the lentils, sweet potato, cumin seeds and coriander and continue to stir for another minute.
  4. Add the water and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low heat and gently simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potato are cooked through but not mushy.  Keep an eye on the water level and stir every 5-10 minutes as the lentils will soak up all the water.
  5. Once cooked, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make the croutons

  1. Preheat the oven to broil (grill). Mix together the goat cheese, mango chutney and curry powder, if using.
  2. Smear the focaccia pieces with about 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture and place them on a baking sheet. Put under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
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