Bulgarian Red Pepper Stew

When we read the story of Jacob and Esau from the bible (the bible portion is Toledoth in Hebrew), I serve this red pepper and bean stew. It lends credulity to Esau swapping his birthright for a bowl of red porridge. I adapted this recipe from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, The Moosewood Collective, Fireside, 1990. This is an excellent soup to serve to vegetarian guests; aside from being vegetarian, it is both nutritious and interesting.


Cover the lentils and navy beans with plenty of cold water, and soak them for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and set them aside. In a large, deep sauce pan, sauté the onions in the oil until golden. Stir in the bell peppers, and sauté them for about 5 minutes more. Add the basil, marjoram, thyme, cayenne, salt, and pepper, and continue to sauté for another minute or two. Pour in 4 cups of stock and all of the wine. Add the drained lentils and beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently, covered, for about 2 hours. The lentils need to thicken, and the beans need to be tender. Mix in the tomato paste, and cook for several minutes longer. Add stock or water if the soup is too thick. Garnish each bowl with parsley.

Serves 8-10.

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