Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Red Lentil Stew with 'Yogurt' Sauce

Yay! I have a new toy to play with. The immersion, or hand, blender is a nifty device that allows you to puree soups and sauces right in the bowl without having to transfer to a blender or food processor and doing twice the amount of dishes. Mine was only about $25 but you can buy fancier models for more. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can also make this soup with a blender.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt (such as Whole Soy:, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro. The original recipe actually called for using the immersion blender for this step as well, but I just stirred with a whisk. Set aside in the fridge to chill.

Heat one teaspoon canola oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion, 1 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper and 3 coarsely chopped garlic cloves. Saute for 8 minutes. Add one and a half teaspoons curry powder and saute an additional minute.

Add 2 & 2/3 cup vegetable broth. Take a 14.5-oz can of whole tomatoes. Add half of the tomatoes in the can to your pot, along with half of the liquid in the can (about 1/3 cup) and reserve the rest for another use. Bring the soup to a boil, then add 1 1/4 cup red lentils. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

I was about 1/4 cup shy of the full amount of red lentils, so made up the difference with some green ones that I also had at home. Nutritionally, they're about identical, so all that got changed was the red aesthetic of the soup. Lentils, incidentally, are a vegan powerhouse. They're a great source of protein (12 g per 1/4 cup!), and also have high levels of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and minerals.

After the 30 minutes, stir in 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Using your immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Make sure to completely immerse the hand blender in the pot to avoid splattering, and not to do this over the hot stove. I am proud to report that it is a lot of fun to use. Stir in a dash of ground red pepper.

One cup of the lentil stew and two tablespoons of yogurt sauce = 270 calories. 4 servings.

plain soy yogurt $0.99
cilantro $1.49
onion $0.93
red bell pepper $2.10
broth $3.79
canned whole tomatoes $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance