Summer arrives before spring in the South. The chances of us craving a hearty bowl of soup for much longer are about as strong as our chances of making it to June before turning on the air conditioning for good. Our final soup before we said so long to the winter that never was: Nick Stellino’s lamb and lentil stew. It’s in a cookbook of his we’ve had for years, but we somehow neglected the recipe. The ingredients come together beautifully — cinnamon, cumin, mint — ours is already flourishing. I made only small changes, grinding cumin from the seeds and using a cinnamon stick. Check out his recipe, and if you’ve never tried it definitely make strained yogurt to top your bowl.
To do so, Stellino calls for placing a cup of plain yogurt (we used nonfat Greek) in a a mesh strainer lined with paper towels or a coffee filter. Set the strainer over a bowl, cover and drain in the refrigerator for five hours or overnight.