I made this stew with a specific spice mix in mind. I bought it ages ago from Penzy’s and never found the opportunity to use it (read: forgot I had it) until I was flipping through the pages of Super Natural Every Day. Heidi’s Farro stew calls for curry, and I thought, well, what if I used my little jar of Indian Sate instead? Great idea right? Not this time. Sadly, this stew turned out thick, boring, ugly and smelled a little funky…as in B.O.-ish. But salvageable. Adding a few drops of water, a generous dusting of smoked paprika and sumac (for a bit of tang), and a dollop of crème fraiche transformed this soup from meh, to alright, I can eat this.
Lesson of the day? Think long and hard before using some funky Indian spice that’s been sitting in your spice drawer for too long.
And smoked paprika can fix just about anything.
Lentil and Farro Soup with Charred Eggplant
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day, Heidi Swanson
I’ve listed the curry just like Heidi suggested. Feel free to be bold and try some other spice. I dare you.
What you’ll need~
Two tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-2 sweet potato, cubed
3-4 purple potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon tarragon
1 tablespoon curry powder
2/3 cups whole grain farro
1 1/4 cup green lentils
6-7 cups broth (veggie or chicken)
2-3 Japanese eggplants
Crème Fraiche, optional
Smoked Paprika to taste, optional, if not using curry
Warm your oven to 425 degrees.
Pour lentils and farro into a large pot and add broth.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and toss potato chunks in. Par-boil for about 5 minutes.
Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, tarragon and 1 tablespoon of curry.
Bake potatoes, giving them the occasional stir for about 20 minutes.
Add the chopped onion and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and the onion starts to darken.
Add cooked potatoes and onions to the pot of lentils and stir. Cover and let simmer until the beans and grains are done.
Turn oven to broil.
Prick eggplants several times with a fork.
Remove parchment paper from your baking sheet and place eggplants on the sheet.
Broil eggplants for about 10-15 minutes turning once or twice, until the skin is blackened and their flesh is tender.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cube them up and toss them in the stew.
Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraiche.