Autumn stew

Oct. 7th, 2010 03:23 pm
mirrorshard: (Default)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
Chestnut, fennel, and Puy lentil stew Yesterday's invention (or at least extreme modification from this):

Sautee two large onions in olive oil, putting in a finely-chopped bulb of garlic when the onions are turning. Chop three carrots and put those in too.

Chop 3 bulbs of fennel and throw those in, along with two tins of chopped tomatoes. Leave the mixture to simmer gently while you deal with the next ingredient, which is 500g (unpeeled weight) of chestnuts. Cut a cross in the tops (cut deeply) and boil them for 3 minutes or so, then peel off both the hard shell and the irritating brown skin inside. Chop into interesting-sized pieces, and throw them in, along with 500g of lentilhas verdes (Puy lentils), a generous slosh of red wine vinegar, some sea salt & black pepper, and a couple of teaspoonfuls each of lovage, oregano, and basil. (I used lovage because the original recipe called for celery, and I didn't have any.)

Top up to a sensible depth with water, and bring to the boil. At this point, I took it off the stove and put it in the urban haybox/slow cooker for three hours, but an hour to an hour and a half on a low heat would also work if you don't have one of those.

Vegan, gluten-free, serves around 10 or 12 hungry people.

I was slightly worried that the fennel would be overpowering, but it worked out just fine, and the mixture of textures is very pleasing. Lentilhas verdes, if you haven't used them, stay very firm rather than disintegrating when cooked like red or green lentils.

Other possibilities for this recipe would be smoked tofu cubes, mushrooms, chickpeas (but they go in anything), and actual red wine (a Rhone red, for preference) rather than vinegar.
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