Spicy Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew with Chipotle

adapted from The New York Times

Yield:  8 servings

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt to taste

2 tsp ground cumin

2 medium carrots, peeled, diced

1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils, rinsed

6 cups chicken broth (water or vegetable broth may be substituted)

2 medium sweet potatoes (dark orange flesh), about 1 to  1 1/4 pounds, peeled and cut in large dice

1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped (to taste) 

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges for serving

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion.  Cook, stirring, until it softens, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and salt.  Cook, stirring, until the garlic smells fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the ground cumin and carrots.  Stir together.  

Add the lentils, broth, sweet potatoes, chipotles, tomato paste, bay leaf and salt to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  

Stir in the cilantro and simmer for another minute.  Serve with lime wedges.

NOTE:  Start with one chipotle and taste.  The amount of chipotle is your preference.