The sweetness of the vegetables and the fresh thyme create a naturally rich and delicious flavor. This is a wonderful way to use up fresh produce at the end of the summer. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Cooking With Friends Kitchen
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 onions, diced
3 cups diced assorted peppers (sweet red Italian, green and red bell)
1 ½ cup diced carrots
½ cup celery (4 stalks)
2 cups diced eggplant (salted)
½ cup green beans, roughly cut
2 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
4 tomatoes, skins removed and diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces brown lentils, cooked al dente for 8 minutes
Advanced Prep Work
Cut an eggplant into rounds. Lay the rounds out on a paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt. After about 15 minutes, you will be able to add to the stew.
Remove the skins from the tomato. If you have a soft skin peeler, you can use it to remove the skins. Otherwise, you can blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, scoring the tops first, and then removing the skins.
Cook the lentils in boiling water for 8 minutes, drain and run under cool water.
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil on a medium heat. Saute the garlic for just a minute and add the onions. Season with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and cook for about 10 minutes. Begin adding the other vegetables gradually, starting with the peppers, carrots and squash. When all the vegetables are in the stew, add the thyme, cumin, salt and oregano. Let the vegetables simmer until tender as a stock begins to form. Mix in the lentils and kidney beans. Simmer for as long as you have time for, up to an hour and a half.
Makes 3 1/2 quarts