Sweet Onions with Lentil Stew

This is one of those recipes that really surprised me. I was expecting a warm, comforting, filling but kind of boring dish – but the flavors here really sing. The paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon play really well off the sweet caramelized onions, and the pancetta adds just enough of a salty balance.

Sweet onions with lentil stew

Sweet Onions with Lentil Stew
via bbc food

8 oz chopped unsmoked bacon or pancetta
4 medium sized onions
3 small carrots
½ tsp mild paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ nutmeg, for grating
10oz (300g) Puy lentils
1 pint (500ml) stock (I used chicken stock)
a handful parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4oz (100g) crème fraîche

Cook the pancetta in a deep pan over a moderate heat to let the fat slowly ooze out . Roughly chop two of the onions and add them to the pan. Cut the carrots into chunks and add to the pan. Cover and let it steam for a few minutes. Add the paprika, cinnamon, then grate in ½ of the nutmeg. Add the lentils, stock and 2 cups water, cover and leave for 30 minutes until the lentils have softened. While that is slowly cooking, slice the remaining two onions and, in another pan, cook them very slowly in butter until golden brown. Finish with a grate of nutmeg. The last thing to add to the lentils is a handful of chopped parsley. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and pile the caramelized onions on top.

  1. Is that your photo? Because it’s singing pretty sweetly to me right now. I won’t be able to get the tune of “Eat me I’m delicious” out of my head for a while now I’m afraid. Will need to queue it up to give it a try.

    • Oh I wish! No, that’s the photo from the BBC site. I’m hoping to invest in a camera soon! The photo sang the same way to me :) This stew is sooo good.

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