Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vegetarian Black Bean, Lentil and Portabella Stew

This is one of those future "Granny's Famous" soup recipes. I've got a couple, but this is my first vegetarian stew and I'm quite pleased with it. I'm sure I will make it plenty here on out, and it's just in time for fall, too! I've made a large batch and frozen the individual portions to ration out over the next few months... Next time though? I think I'll make a double or triple batch. ;-)

1/2 lbs. black beans

1/2 lbs. lentils

Cooking Oil

2 large portabella mushrooms

1 medium onion (1/2 cup)

1 head of garlic (yes, the whole thing)

2 carrots, chopped into pea sized bits

1/2 zucchini

1 bell pepper

3 large tomatoes

3+ cups of water (or vegetable broth)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tbs. chili powder

2 tbs. light brown sugar

Cook the beans according the the instructions, but add a tsp. salt so they're not bland. Canned beans will work, but not taste as good. Once the beans are cooked, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of oil. Dice the onions and saute in the hot oil. You're looking to caramelize them, not simply cook them until they turn clear. Mince the garlic cloves and add them next. Once both the garlic and onion are turning brown at the edges, add the carrot, zucchini, and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then removes from heat.
Skin the tomatoes by dropping them into a bath of boiling water and then into cold water. The skins slip off. Cut the tomatoes up and add them to the vegetables. In a large pot, add the vegetables and water. Add in the beans and lentils and heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cilantro, salt, pepper, chili powder and brown sugar. Once at a boil, cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are as soft as you'd like. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

**Recipe hint - I like to buy a bunch of cilantro when it is in season and chop it up and freeze it into ice cube trays. This not only saves my cilantro from going bad before I use it all, I have it when it's not in season.

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