Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Spicy Lentil-Vegetable Stew with Masa Dumplings

So tonight's soup, or maybe "stew", was a delicious "thrown-together" surprise. (Again, ignore the picture and pretend it looks beautiful!)

The lentil soup is approximately the same basic recipe I make it every time, but the little masa dumplings were a spur of the moment attempt to temporarily pacify my ten-year-old who's been asking for tamales for weeks now... Put together, this was amazing comfort-food and DEFINITELY a combination I'll be making often!!

Giving credit where credit is due, the masa dumpling idea is from my friend Greg, an awesome chef and head of Food Services at a University in Keene, Texas. The recipe he sent me only serves 200, so I had to modify it..... just a bit...

I realize the soup looks like it has 10 zillion ingredients. Keep in mind I have more produce than will fit in my fridge right now and am trying to incorporate as much as I can into recipes that are tasty and kid-approved. I suggest you use whatever you have, the soup certainly won't suffer from lack of veggies.

Spicy Lentil-Vegetable Stew with Masa Dumplings

  • 1/2 pound regular brown lentils
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (mostly the white part)
  • 1 cup shredded or finely chopped green cabbage
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, turnip or rutabaga, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. (yes, Tbsp.) crushed, dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 1 cup spicy salsa of your choice
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper pod (or less if you don't want it too spicy or just use a little dried pepper flakes)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute vegetables (except tomatoes) with the olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano for 20 minutes, until the onions are translucent and very tender. Add the stock, tomato paste, salsa, pepper pod, vinegar and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through.

While lentils are cooking, mix up dumplings (see recipe below) and let masa dough sit for at least 30 min.

Masa Dumplings

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup boiling water or broth

To prepare dumplings, lightly spoon masa into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
Combine masa, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in margarine with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in water or broth. Let dough sit for about 30 min.
Divide dough into balls about the diameter of a quarter, shaping each into a ball.
Make a small indention in each dumpling.
Put dumplings in bubbling soup and cover.
Let stew simmer on med-low (as low a heat as possible while still bubbling gently) for 15 min. until dumplings are done.
They will be slightly dense and moist, about the consistency of a tamale.
Serve with several dumplings in each bowl of stew.


k's mumbo jumbo said...

That looks just scrumptious. I would love to try masa dumplings.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Ohhhh man this looks good. I love lentils SO much, and I bet those masa dumplings just take it to the next level. BEAUTIFUL!

Tofu Hunter said...

This is the second tantalizing reference to masa dumplings I've seen this week... thanks so much for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Wow--that sounds great! I *love* lentil stew/soup!


Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

i suck at html. but what i was trying to say, is that I had never heard of masa dumplings before, then both you and lazy smurf posted about them today! It's a sign that I must make them soon!

Rose said...

Awesome, i love dumplings. I will have to try this next time i feel like making a 'new' soup!


Lazy Smurf said...

Masa Dumpling Twins! Yours sounded better because you used margarine, that was smart. I will make them again for sure, they were really easy. Your soup looks really good!!!!!