Proof of how good food can be.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Contributed by : Daphne Oz and Mario Batali

■For Daphne’s Stew:
■Olive Oil
■1 Red Onion (finely chopped)
■Salt and Pepper to taste
■7 Carrots (thinly sliced coins)
■2 Celery Ribs (finely chopped)
■3 Garlic cloves (finely minced)
■2 cups Red Lentils (rinsed)
■2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (toasted and ground)
■1 teaspoon Coriander (toasted and ground)
■1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Flakes
■1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
■6 cups Water
■1 Sweet Potato (peeled and finely diced; about 1 cup)
■1 bunch Black Kale (finely shredded)
For Mario’s Croutons:

■1 cup Goat Cheese (at room temperature)
■1/3 cup Spicy Mango Chutney
■1 tablespoon Curry Powder
■Olive Oil
■1 piece of Focaccia Bread (cut into wedges)
For Daphne’s Stew: In a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the onion. Season with salt and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Add in the rinsed lentils and cook for about 2 minutes, toasting in the oil. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, chipotle chili flakes, and turmeric, and continue to toast for another minute, or until fragrant. Add the water and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low heat and gently simmer for about 10 minutes.

Then, carefully stir in the sweet potato and kale. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through but not mushy.

For Mario’s Croutons: Preheat the oven to broil. Mix together the goat cheese, mango chutney, curry powder, and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Smear the focaccia pieces with about 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture and place them on a baking sheet. Put under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Remove the tray from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve the croutons with the stew