Light summer stews are just amazing to enjoy comforting, flavourful food that you can have either hot or warm. It’s part of those meals you can batch cook and eat up to a few days in a row without getting bored of having ! This vegan aubergine lentil stew is such a nice dish to make and does not require too much ahead preparation or any planning. It’s all about luscious eggplants and ultimately tender lentils, well spiced up and topped with seasonal herbs, yes it sounds like heaven! And guess what, you should even make it a day earlier as the dish gets more flavourful eaten on the following day, or at least make sure you’ll have leftovers 🙂
Even if vegan, this eggplants and lentil stew is very rich thanks to the super soft and creamy texture given by the eggplants and lentils. For a non vegan option, you could totally add a little thick cheese or yogurt to make the dish even more creamy. It seems that many people tend not to appreciate eggplants too much, but trust me this recipe makes it so loveable ! You really won’t regret trying this stew recipe out.
Lentils tend to be so underrated as many legumes I feel. Maybe this is due to all those pre-cooked lentils that tend to be flavourless and actually don’t taste that great. I remember never eating lentils as a child because of eating those terrible ones at school. Growing up, I wanted to try it again so I had home-cooked lentils, from then, I discovered this ingredient’s whole potential! It’s also such a great one health-wise, they truly have a LOT to offer:
- High in protein: lentils are definitely my go to food when having meat and fish less weeks but still need energy. Remember that you should get enough proteins to grow muscles so don’t pass those for too long
- High in fiber: which are helping digestion and regulating your weight
- Contain polyphenols: polyphenol basically is a type of nutrient that’s full of antioxidant and help your body fight a lot of different diseases. You find polyphenols in plant-based food, so make sure you integrate enough of plants that contain some in your diet
- High in iron: which is super good for your red blood cells, the ones that carry the oxygen around your body
RECIPE serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hours
You will need:
- 230g non-cooked lentils
- 3 small eggplants (or 2 large)
- 2 small tomatoes (or a large)
- 1 onion
- 1 or 2 garlic clove to taste
- 3 thyme branches
- 500ml vegetable stock
- Espelette pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- A bunch of parsley or any herb you like
- Salt and pepper to taste
I have added extra seasoning with my tahini parsley vegan butter you can find linked!
Heat up a large pot with 1 tbsp olive oil. Chop the onion, garlic and thyme, let cook with a pinch of salt for a good five minutes.
While it cooks, peel the eggplant one strip in two – you should have half of the skin remaining on the veggie, not sure this was very clear – and cut into medium sized pieces. Peel the tomatoes and remove the pips, roughly cut in pieces.
When the onions and garlic are cooked, remove from the pot and set aside.
Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in the now empty pot and place over a medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and tomato dices with a pinch of salt and gently roast the veggies for 10-15 minutes, until they soften.
When done, add the onion garlic preparation back into the pot with the eggplant and tomatoes. Add the raw lentils in the pot, pour the vegetable stock over it and add some regular pepper and Espelette pepper to taste – the dish should be nicely spiced up. Give it a little stir and cover with a lid.
Let cook over a medium-low heat for about 45 minutes. Depending on the type of lentils that you’ll be using, cooking time can vary to reach the perfect lentil cooking. I suggest that you first check the mentioned timing on the packet of the lentils and regularly check the cooking until you reach the perfect lentil cooking. You want the lentils to be cooked but hold their shape nicely. If too cooked the texture will be too liquid.
In case there’s too much vegetable broth left in the pot but the lentils are cooked, increase the heat to medium-high and evaporate as much liquid as you can in a minimum of time.
Serve hot or warm topped up with some of your favourite herbs, parsley and chives here 🙂