Tropical Lentil Stew
All Costa Ricans have their own recipe for this stew. This is mine. The list of ingre- dients is long but the preparation is simple. If you don’t have all the spices on hand, eliminate up to two. Doing so will alter the taste but the dish will still be delicious.
8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable broth
1 1⁄2 cups brown, green, or black beluga lentils
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup canned tomato sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices
2 cups pineapple chunks
Mix the broth, lentils, sweet potatoes, onion, tomato sauce, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender, 50 to 60 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, leaving its overall texture slightly chunky.
Or ladle about half the soup into a large blender, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and blend until smooth before stirring this puree back into the pot.
Ladle into 6 serving bowls and top each with 1⁄3 cup of the banana slices and 1⁄3 cup of the pineapple chunks.
Peeled and cored pineapple chunks are available in most supermarkets’ produce sections in the refrigerator case.
100 Recipes to Live to 100 THE BLUE ZONES KITCHEN
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More