Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew and Buttermilk Cheese Bread

I find myself making stew and soup more nowadays as the leaves change their colours  and Autumn crisp air seeps into our house.  I love the smell of stew and soup simmering; I also love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven or in the bread machine.  On a practical side, my kitchen warms up as the stew simmers and bread bakes !! 
This Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew recipe came from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, yes, Alicia from “Clueless”.  She is an animal rights and environmental activist, and a vegan.  To set the record straight, I am not a vegan and I don’t intend to be.  I understand being a vegan because of health reasons, but I have to disagree being a vegan citing that being a non-vegan promotes cruelty to animals.  Anyway, I got this book from my dear cousin’s husband (I have to say it feels really good when someone thinks about you and gives you a gift!) and it has some real nice recipes in it.   The Buttermilk Cheese Bread is from Beth Hensperger’s   The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.

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Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew:
Serves 4-6
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4” cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften.  Stir in the tomatoes and ginger, and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors. 
Add the sweet potatoes, broth,  and lentils.  Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat.  When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. 

My opinion:  If you like Moroccan stew, you’ll like this too.  This is the tamer (less robust) version of the the Moroccan stew.  The original recipe will make this stew into a soup; in addition to the sweet potatoes, I added regular potatoes (about 2 medium) and Asian sweet potatoes (about 1 large).  I also added few carrots and a little bit more lentils.   We truly love this stew, it’s perfect for the Fall weather, and makes your inside really happySmile

Buttermilk Cheese Bread:
This is a bread machine recipe!  I followed the 1-1/2 pound loaf recipe:
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
3-1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 ounces)
1-1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast

Place all the ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set the crust on medium and program for the Basic cycle; press Start.  When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack.  Let cook to room temperature before slicing. 

My opinion:  A wonderful accompaniment to the stew above!!  It’s so very moist (the bread actually bounces), I guess it’s the buttermilk and the cheese.  This will be great just by itself with nice butter (or with jam)!

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