Source: "a beautiful bowl of soup" by Paulette Mitchell (makes 5 cups)
1 cup diced onion
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed
2 tsp curry powder (hot or sweet, your choice)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry rosemary, crushed well
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 cups vegetable broth (can also use Knorr Vegetable Bullion Cubes)
1 can (15 oz) small white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 TBL tomato paste
A few drops of Tabasco for heat
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the crushed saffron threads with 1 TBL very hot water. Crush some more, and set aside.
In a soup pot combine the olive oil, onions, rosemary, cumin, and fennel seeds, saute on medium heat about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, beans, rice, lentils, and curry powder. Stir mixture for 30 seconds, then add the saffron thread mixture. Stire some more.
Bring up the heat until the stew boils.
Add the chopped tomatoes (with juice), cilantro, and tomato paste; stir well. Season with the tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste.
Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes (until the rice is done).
This stew gets better overnight, make it the day before you serve it. Garlic bread makes a great side dish.