Soups & stews always remind me of chilly New England nights which could partially be one of the reasons they are some of my favorite dishes. Having lived in New England most of my life, and now in Florida for a few years, my personal belief is that soups & stews just provide a different feeling upon consumption up North than down South. Regardless, they are a great way to up your daily vegetable intake, are simple to make, and always leave you satisfied. This root vegetable dal is another inspiration from Laura Wright’s “The First Mess Cookbook.”
Root Vegetable Dal
- 1 cup red split lentils (rinsed)
- 1 cup finely diced root vegetables of your choice (I used beets and carrots)
- 1 small yellow onion (finely diced)
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger (peeled and mined)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 pinch dried chili flakes
- 3½ cups filtered water
- 1 pinch salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
- lemon wedges for serving
- To a medium soup pot, add the rinsed lentils, diced root vegetables, diced onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and chili flakes. Pour the water into the pot and give everything a stir.
- Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes, whisking the dal often. Toward the end, the lentils should be completely broken down. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, whisk the dal vigorously to encourage the break down of the lentils. It should appear soupy. Season the dal generously with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Heat the coconut oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Once the seeds are fragrant and popping, remove from heat.
- Spoon the toasted spice oil (with the whole spices) on top of the dal. You can portion the dal out first and then spoon the spice oil on top if you like. Garnish the dal with the chopped cilantro. Serve the dal hot with lemon wedges.