Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew with Chipotles

by ihidemychocolate

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A Vegan-Friendly Thanksgiving

My daughter is a committed vegan, unable to stomach eating animals and dismayed by the injurious practices towards animals of big agriculture. I am proud of her and support her, but must admit that I don’t need any more food rules in my life. So, while I don’t eat much meat, I am not rigid about it.

This was her first Thanksgiving out as a vegan. (I think she was a closet vegan last year.) I reflected on how to balance the food traditions and family favorites of the holiday, while honoring her food wishes and offering her some tasty options. Roasted green beans, beyond easy.  Stuffing made with vegetable broth, so tasty. Then what? We swapped the too-sweet marshmallow yams for Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew. I made it the day before – which was a good thing, because it gets better and better every day. We’ve been eating it for lunch every day since!

Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew with Chipotles

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 bay leaves

In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and carrots. Sauté until onions begin to turn toasty brown. Be patient, this can take 10-15 minutes – the browning adds flavor.

Add water, lentils, sweet potatoes, salt, cumin, chipotles, tomato paste, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Then, lower temperature and simmer for an hour. Or more. You really can’t overcook this dish – it just keeps getting thicker and stewier and more flavorful.

You can serve the same day, but it is better the next day and the next day and the next day.

Serves many vegans and omnivores. Probably about 8 servings. For the non-vegans, a dollop of plain greek yogurt on top is delicious, adding tang and creaminess.

 

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