The humble look of this stew belies its complex flavor: a mix of spicy heat and earthy legumes, topped with a cooling, creamy lemon-flecked yogurt.
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This recipe was exactly what I was looking for today. I wanted a quick, healthy lunch using items I had on hand. I made it exactly as written, with the exception of cooking it about 5 minutes longer and using the back of a wooden spoon to mash up some of the chick peas to make the soup a bit thicker. I didn't have Greek yogurt on hand, so I strained some whole milk regular yogurt and used that in it's place. The lemony yogurt topping was the perfect foil, taming the spice of the red pepper flakes and adding some brightness to the dish. I'll definitely make this again.
I've made this twice now. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and found the stew to be a bit thin, mushy, and bland. The second time I made it, I increased the red lentils to 1 1/2 cups to make it thicker and more substantial. It's still a bit bland, and 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes was still quite hot, even with the extra lentils. I waited until the lentils were completely cooked before adding the tin of chickpeas, and then just simmered for a few minutes. That kept them more intact. I had some spinach in the fridge that was a bit past its prime, so I threw that in at the end as well. The lemon yoghurt topping is excellent and elevates this recipe, so I made more than double the quantity. On the whole, it's a quick, healthy, cheap recipe that makes a decent lunch for the week. I'll make it again, and keep tweaking.
This is a staple in our home! I make it all the time. I love how quickly it comes together and how all the ingredients are from the pantry. It always turns out flavorful and satisfying!
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