Lentil Sweet Potato Stew with Turmeric, Chicken and Cilantro

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Yield: 6 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts)       

1 Tbsp  Olive oil
1 small  Onion (10oz), small dice
3 stalks Celery, small dice
1 each  Carrot, small dice
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 each  Sweet potato (1lb), small dice
1-1/2 tsp Turmeric
Pinch  Cayanne
To taste Kosher salt
6 cups  Chicken broth
3/4 cup  Red lentils (available in bulk at Whole Foods)
1 each  Bay leaf
1 Tbsp  Fresh thyme
2 cups  Cooked chicken breast, diced or “pulled”
1 Tbsp  Red wine vinegar
2 cups  Spinach, roughly chopped
¼ cup  Cilantro leaves

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, celery and carrot; sauté a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, sweet potato, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté a few minutes longer to cook the garlic and toast the spice. Season with salt.
2. Add the chicken broth to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and bay leaf; simmer ten minutes until lentils are tender, skimming off the surface with a ladle from time to time.
3. Add thyme, chicken, and vinegar. Simmer a few minutes until the flavors meld; check seasoning.
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 the cilantro leaves.