This is pure comfort food. It’s hearty and warm, salty and savory, and the flavors intensify with every reheating. It’s perfect for a cold, wet, wintry day. I could eat something like this every day when it’s cold out. Something about lentils are just so ‘homey’. They really are perfect in soups and stews.
My only misgiving about this recipe was the cinnamon. I hate cinnamon (like a tiger), so I was a bit wary of adding it in. I will admit I only used a very scant half teaspoon of cinnamon. I doubled the paprika to attempt to mask the cinnamon at little better. I could still taste it and it wasn’t horrible, but I think I would have enjoyed the dish a lot more without it. Next time I would probably skip the cinnamon all together and just add a lot more paprika. Paprika makes everything better.
Sweet Onions with Lentil Stew
From BBC Food
- a good handful, chopped unsmoked bacon or pancetta
- 4 medium sized onions
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 small carrots
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ nutmeg, for grating
- 300g/10oz Puy lentils
- 1000ml/2 pints stock
- 100g/4oz crème fraîche/sour cream/greek yogurt
- Cook the bacon or pancetta in a deep pan over a moderate heat to let the fat slowly ooze out. Roughly chop two of the onions and add them and the garlic to the pan. Cut the carrots into chunks and add to the pan. Cover and let it steam for a few minutes. Add the paprika, cinnamon, then grate in ½ of the nutmeg. Add the lentils, stock, cover and leave for 30 minutes until the lentils have softened.
- While that is slowly cooking, slice the remaining two onions and, in another pan, cook them very slowly in oil until golden brown. Finish with a grate of nutmeg.
- The last thing to add to the lentils is a handful of chopped parsley. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and pile the caramelised onions on top.