Lentil and Spinach Stew
serves about 8
1 head garlic (about 10 large cloves), peeled
1 tsp oil
8 1/2 cups water, divided
1 lb small green (or brown) lentils
1 lb frozen chopped spinach
2 no-salt-added vegetable bouillon cubes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 TBSP red miso
freshly cracked black pepper
Heat oven to 400. Toss peeled garlic cloves with oil in a small baking dish or pie plate. When oven is ready, let garlic cook until just tender and light golden, about 15-20 minutes, watching very carefully toward the end to avoid burning. (If the garlic burns, the whole pot of stew will taste bitter.)
Set aside one half-cup of water and add remaining eight cups to a dutch oven or soup pot, then heat on the stove over high heat. Add lentils, spinach, bouillon cubes, nutritional yeast, marjoram, and paprika. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, or as needed to maintain a steady, strong simmer. Leave covered and cook until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.
When lentils are tender and garlic is ready, add remaining half-cup water to a small food processor (or use a wide-mouth mason jar with an immersion blender) along with garlic and miso. Blend until smooth. Stir into pot until thoroughly combined. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.