Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew

Ah, lentils.  They seem to be one of the most finicky foods that I have ever worked with.  But a small bag had been sitting in our pantry for quite some time now, and I think fate was calling with I stumbled across this posting on Vegan Dad's blog.  And I'm so glad I did, because it turned out to be something quite different from what I normally end up making.  The first night M and I had it over a bit of rice, because that was all the food in the house that was ready to eat.  (We finally finished off our monster 5 lb bag of rice... and got another one.  It's good stuff, that rice.) Anyway, this stew is a lot like soup.  It gets more flavourful as time goes on, so the first night I wasn't all that impressed.  But the next day the flavour seemed to have doubled, and it tasted so much better.  M was especially fond of the stew- I thought it was good, but nothing to dream about.  I really liked the peas and potatoes, though.  They seemed to go extremely well in the dish- not to mention it looks a whole lot prettier with them.
This is great over rice as a main dish, or just by itself as a side.  Whatever floats your boat...

Sweet Potato And Lentil Stew

Adapted from Vegan Dad

Serves 6-8

1 large onion, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
2" piece ginger, grated
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 cup crushed tomatoes (or more, as needed)
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup red lentils, presoaked
2 cups chopped green beans
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a bit of water in a large pot over medium high heat. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger for 10 minutes, until onion is tender. Add sweet potatoes and red pepper and cook for one more minute.
2. Add the spices, and mix thoroughly. Add both forms of tomato, lentils, green beans, and peas. Bring to a light bubble, and cover. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more crushed tomatoes to get the thickness that you want. Serve, either alone or over rice.

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