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Adapted from my CSA's website, from Vegetable Harvest, Vegetables at the Center of the Plate by Patricia Wells
- 1 1⁄2 cups dried French lentils, preferably Puy lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- bouquet garni (several parsley stems, celery leaves, and sprigs of thyme, encased in clean cotton string or a metal)
- 1 leeks or 1 onion, cleaned and chopped
- 1 large bunch swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped (finely chop the stems and use those too!)
- salt & pepper
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 cup greek-style yogurt (to garnish)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Place lentils in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse until cold running water. Set aside.
- In a stock pot, combine the oil, bouquet garni, onion (or leek) swiss chard stems, and 1 teaspoon salt. Sweat-cook, covered, over low heat until soft but not browned- for about 3 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the lentils, curry powder, and cayenne and stir. Simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. (Cooking time will depend upon the freshness of the lentils–older lentils take longer to cook).
- Add the chard leaves and the chickpeas and cook until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes more. Remove the bouquet garni. Taste for seasoning. (this means add S & P to taste).
- While the stew is cooking, toast the cumin. Watch carefully! They can burn quickly. Place the cumin seeds in a small, dry skillet over moderate heat. Shake the pan regularly until the cumin seeds are fragrant and evenly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cumin to a large plate to cool. Set aside.
- Mix together yogurt and cumin.
- Divide soup among the warmed soup bowls. At the table, garnish with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkling of toasted cumin.