For slow cooked stove-top dishes, like this spicy-sweet lentil and vegetable soup, I am a big fan of cast iron dutch ovens. For this recipe I used my Le Creuset 4,1 liter marmita, which has proved great for gently simmering soups.
What is a marmita?
Marmita in Spanish, marmite in French: this is the traditional name for a specific rounded cooking pot. Mine is black cast iron, from Le Creuset.
More about marmite cooking pans here.
Method and Ingredients.
In the marmite, or a suitable large pot, place:
º 250ml /1c dry lentils
º 1 liter / 4c water
Bring to a gentle boil.
In a separate pan, put:
º a splash of olive oil
º 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
º 1 large onion, rough chopped
º 1 teaspoon pimenton dulce /sweet paprika.
º ¼t nutmeg
º ¼t allspice
º ¼t chili powder
These spices are part of our everyday culture, easy to obtain and always on the spice rack. If you don’t have the range, or if they’re difficult to find, then go for 1T of a good, preferably organic, barbecue spice.
Gently fry for about 5 minutes.
To the murmuring lentils, add:
º the above garlic-onion mix
º 4 tomatoes / a 400g tin of whole tomatoes, rough chopped.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hrs.
Add water or tomato juice if necessary.
After the 2 hours, add
º 1 peeled apple, rough chopped.
º 2 carrots, roughly chopped.
º 100g butternut squash, chopped to the same size as the apple and carrot pieces.
Add water or tomato juice if necessary to just cover the vegetables.
Cook on low for 30-45mins until the veg are al dente.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a wholewheat sourdough loaf.
International Recipe Influences
º We have a number of people from Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and other spanish-speaking South American countries in our church.
º Abuelo spent seven years in Brazil.
º South Africa, where we were for many years, has a strong Portuguese population; and we have friends in our neighbour country Portugal.
The lentil and bean recipes we have developed owe much to conversations with these and other friends about family preferences and ingredients; and to the overall influence of these cultures.