Paprikash is a Hungarian stew, usually made with chicken, where the spicing comes entirely from paprika. As a paprika lover, this stew is naturally a favorite of mine. I’ve made a more traditional version using chicken before, but was recently inspired to try out this vegetarian version. The sweetness of roasted peppers and earthiness of cremini mushrooms is a great match with the paprika (I think I’m going to start adding both to my chicken paprikash!), and I tossed in some lentils to make it a little heartier.
Roasted Pepper and Mushroom Paprikash (adapted from Rachael Ray)
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
- 3 – 4 bell peppers*
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, minced**
- 2 Tbsp paprika***
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 3/4 cup French lentils
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 large (28 – 32 oz) can tomatoes
- 3 – 4 cups stock
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce****
- 2 – 4 Tbsp sour cream*****
- salt and pepper, to taste
*Red or yellow are best as they’re sweeter and have more nutrients than the green ones.
**Scrape out seeds and membranes for a less spicy stew.
***Preferably Hungarian sweet paprika or smoked sweet paprika.
****If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
*****You can substitute creme fraiche or a crema – these also have the advantage of not curdling if boiled. If using sour cream, be careful when reheating to avoid bringing the stew to a boil.
- Over an open flame on a gas stove (or grill) or under the broiler in the oven, roast 3 – 4 bell peppers until the skin is blistered and charred. Rotate the peppers halfway through. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes using either method.
- Transfer the peppers to a paper bag or a bowl. Roll the top of the bag down or cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until cooled (about 20 minutes), then remove the peppers, rub the skins to remove, chop off the stem, squeeze and scrape out the innards (seeds and membranes), and mince.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat, then sautee 1 onion, chopped until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped, and sautee until they release and then reabsorb their liquid, about 10 minutes.
- Add 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced, 2 jalapeno peppers, minced, and 2 Tbsp paprika, and sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the roasted bell peppers, 1 large carrot, grated, 3/4 cup French lentils, 3/4 cup red lentils, 1 large (28 – 32 oz) can tomatoes, 3 – 4 cups stock, and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and let simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat, and stir in 2 – 4 Tbsp sour cream and salt and pepper, to taste.