I was working late last week so I was casting around my cookbooks for some sort of stew that I could make the day before and had the potential to get better as it sat around, and that also was a one pot meal so I wouldn’t even need to bother with cooking accompaniments. I haven’t used Nava Atlas’s “Vegan soups and hearty stews for all seasons” much, but I knew I’d find something in it that would fit the bill. I decided on Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup, but I made quite a few changes on the way, so I can give you a recipe. This also made leftovers for lunch and it just kept getting better so it’s perfect for those times you need to do the cooking in advance.
1tbps olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 diced sticks of celery
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 chopped green pepper
3/4 cup green lentils
2 tsps ras el hanout spice mix (I had a huge tub of this that I bought in France but you could use any spice mix or choose your own)
5 cups water
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped seitan (I had this leftover from something so added it but it’d be fine without it)
1 tin drained chickpeas
Juice of half a lemon
Lots of finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and green pepper and cook until the onion is golden, about another 8 minutes. Add the lentils, ras el hanout and water. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked – about half an hour. Keep checking that you aren’t running out of water and add more if you need to.
Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and seitan and cook for another 10 minutes.
At this point I let the stew sit overnight, and then when I came to reheat it I added the lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper, but I’m not actually sure that it made any difference – I could probably have added it at the same time.
I served it with some wholewheat flatbreads that I’d spotted in Sainsburys and which were very nice indeed!
This was a very tasty, hearty stew which can easily be adapted to whatever spice mix you have on hand.