Lentil-Vegetable Stew

Serves 6 / Banish the cold weather with this versatile stew, packed with heart-healthy fiber, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, iron, and B vitamins. Although sweet potatoes are a winter favorite, you can substitute regular yellow or red potatoes. You also can add other wonderful root vegetables, such as beets or parsnips, or a bit of minced ginger for additional warming qualities. If you prefer more protein, add cubes of cooked chicken.

1-1/4 cups lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
1 cup water
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Sea salt, to taste
1-1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine lentils with 3 cups broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer until lentils are barely tender, 20–30 minutes.

2. Add remaining 1 cup broth, water, sweet potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, tamari, and spices and cook, partially covered, for about 40 minutes on medium heat. Add more broth or water if soup seems too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Add zucchini and broccoli florets, and heat another 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 228 calories % fat calories: 3 Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrate: 43g Protein: 14g Fiber: 8g Sodium: 185mg Functional Kitchen is provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, which is seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.