Yield: 6-8 servings (about 2 quarts)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 small Onion (8oz), small dice
2 stalks Celery, small dice
1 each Carrot, small dice
1 each Japanese eggplant, small dice
2 cloves Garlic
1 each Sweet potato (1lb), small dice
1 (generous) tsp Curry powder (we prefer “Sun” brand)
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups Vegetable broth
3/4 cup Red lentils (available in bulk at Whole Foods or Sprouts)
1 each Bay leaf
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme
2 Tbsp Lemon juice (reserve the zest)
1 cup Plain yogurt
2 tsp Lemon zest
2 cups Spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Cilantro leaves
¼ cup Cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, celery, carrot and eggplant; sauté a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, sweet potato and curry powder. Sauté a few minutes longer to cook the garlic and toast the spice. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the broth to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add the lentils and bay leaf; cover and simmer ten minutes until lentils are tender. Add thyme and lemon juice. Simmer a few minutes until the flavors meld; check seasoning.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and lemon zest.
4. Place a 1/3 cup or so of the spinach in the bottom of a serving bowl. Ladle the hot stew over and garnish with a dollop of lemon yogurt, cilantro leaves and toasted cashews.