For those of you who say you don’t have time to cook a nutritious meal, I encourage you to buy a slow cooker. You can wake up in the morning, throw the ingredients into the pot, turn it on, and go on with the rest of your day. And when it’s time for dinner, you can add seasonings and dinner is ready! As a bonus, your house will smell amazing all day. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can always just put a large soup pot on the stove (with an increased risk of burning your house down).
A friend of mine requested a lentil soup recipe, and honestly, I’ve never been very excited about lentils. They’re super nutritious and a great source of protein, but all of the lentil soups I’ve tried have been bland and boring. I took it upon myself to come up with a lentil soup I can get excited about, and I honestly hope you all try this recipe!
I was perusing Pinterest in search of some flavor inspiration, and I saw a soup recipe that contained peanut butter. At first I was a little repulsed, but then I thought about how much I like peanut sauce in Thai dishes and on salads, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I’m a little obsessed with the results. I made a lentil stew and added sweet potatoes to balance out the warmth of the spices and the creamy richness of the peanut butter. You can make this African lentil stew as spicy as you like, then add nondairy sour cream or cashew cream to cool it down. It has the heartiness of chili, so one bowl is really all you need to be satisfied. If you’re still not convinced, my picky husband — who normally dislikes lentils — liked this soup and took some to his dad, who requested the recipe!
African Lentil Stew
- 1 cup dried lentils (I used sprouted lentils)
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 cube vegetable bullion, roughly chopped so it dissolves easily
- 1 15.5-oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/2 t. cumin
- 1 t. curry masala (or any curry blend you like)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (as in, the only ingredient is peanuts)
- Optional: a few dashes hot sauce, a few peanuts, fresh cilantro, nondairy sour cream, cashew cream
- Wash and chop all of your vegetables. Add all ingredients to slow cooker except the peanut butter and seasonings.
- Cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Before serving, add the spices and peanut butter, stirring until peanut butter is fully incorporated.
- Add desired garnish and serve. Easy, right?
I think this stew tastes better left over because the flavors have had time to blend. Keep in the fridge up to four days (but it probably won’t last that long!).
I may or may not have eaten a bowl of this African lentil stew for breakfast . . .
I hope you all enjoy this stew as much as we did (and probably will again soon)!