There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with it being the end of a hard day. Especially if we accept it as part of life instead of trying hard to get the law of attraction right and figure out what is wrong with us for hours. Just knowing that we survived that day and its circumstances, and having faith in ourselves going forward is a good moment. Especially with soup and chocolate. I was feeling pretty satisfied at my tough day once I escaped to nature at night to listen to crickets.
In the middle of the day, I wanted to make the lentil stew I had planned, and finally got it started once my team left for the day to make deliveries. There never seems to be enough time to add the last few ingredients that would blow everyone away, though what I did create was really excellent. I began to simmer the lentils, to start the soup, and set the timer for 20 minutes while I chopped veggies. 10 minutes in, I noticed on my trusty routing software, that one of my drivers was stuck in the canyon for a little while and his phone wasn’t on. Concerned about what might be going on, I turned the heat off and dashed to Topanga to find him. I wasn’t sure what would become of this soup.
The soup wasn’t ruined, in fact when I arrived back, I found the soaking of the lentils for 30 minutes was done just right, and I began to put the rest of the ingredients in the pot.
Here’s some main things that made this recipe so great.
~Snake gourd. This is the best squash I’ve ever had. I’ve seen it nowhere. I asked a farmer to grow it for my company Earth Matterz, and he did.
~French Green Lentils have amazing texture. I get them from Kandarian Farm, which is the best you can get locally in LA. Also available at Earth Matterz.
~Shiso, lemon balm, and lemon thyme are an incredible mix of flavors for this stew.
~If I found my cumin, I would have added 2 teaspoons.
~If I had more time I would have added some rind of orange. I also would have picked the eggplant I had, to add on top of the stew.
This stew is amazing!
Snake Gourd and Lentil Stew
1 cup of french green lentils
4-5 cups of water
Tomatoes (a lb or less is enough)
1 red onion
A few sprigs of shiso, lemon balm, and at least half a bunch of lemon thyme.
Snake gourd (as much as you want, I used half of one that weights about 1.5 lbs.)
1 lb of potatoes
1 banana pepper
1 spicy hanako pepper
Handful of baby spinach
3 or more Passion Fruit
First, simmer the lentils for 20 minutes in 4-5 cups of water.
Stir fry the onions and a sweet pepper on a pan on low heat with olive oil. Once it browns and caramelizes, pour it into the simmering lentils.
After 10 minutes. Add freshly chopped tomatoes. Cut the passion fruit in half and spoon out the juice into the pot. Don’t use the shells of passion fruit. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve known people to try it. That’s almost like eating fiber glass. Add the hanako pepper or another spicy pepper. Rather than to chop up the pepper, I cut the pepper in half, take the seeds out, and let it simmer in there. Then I take the pepper out when the stew is ready. Chop the fresh herbs and throw them in the pot.
Add the chopped potatoes. I chop them up really small so that they cook faster. After about 5 minutes of the potatoes cooking, I add the chopped squash. Cook until the squash is tender, turn off the heat, and stir in a handful of spinach.
These types of unique flavors and elements, are how I won the chili cook off years ago. It’s about finding unique ingredients, which you can find at Earth Matterz. 🙂
This is my favorite lentil stew today!