Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew

 

Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew-0604After 3 days of overindulgence in New York celebrating Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday, we were ready for some clean eating when we got back home. I hadn’t grocery shopped but I knew I had a butternut squash on the counter and several types of lentils to finish, so I came up with this Indian-inspired vegan stew.  Solomon, who was home from college for the weekend, said he was so happy to have a delicious meatless meal that wasn’t pizza or pasta.  Scramble recipe tester Bobbi Woods said, “Oh my goodness this was fabulous! We all had seconds!!! The LIME absolutely made the taste POP.” Serve it with naan or pita bread.

 

Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Total Time: 60 minutes

Makes 6 servings, about 2 cups each

2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
1sweet yellow onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, diced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
6 – 8 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 lbs.)
1 cup yellow split peas or yellow or red lentils (you can use green split peas if you can’t find any of these)
15 oz. diced tomatoes, with their liquid
32 oz. reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, warmed
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving 

Heat a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, add the oil, and when it is hot, add the onions and ginger.  Cook it for about 3 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the garlic, turmeric and curry powder for about 30 seconds, then add the butternut squash, split peas or lentils, tomatoes, and broth, cover, and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer it, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover it and let it simmer for 10 more minutes or until the peas/lentils are tender.  (Meanwhile, warm the bread, if you are serving it.)

Using an immersion blender or a standing blender, puree the stew to desired consistency (we like it a little chunky, one tester preferred it smooth).  Serve it immediately, with freshly squeezed lime, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions: You will need at least a 5 quart slow cooker to make this recipe. Omit the oil. Combine all remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, or on high for 4 – 5 hours.
(Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)

Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, peel and cut the ginger and the squash, peel the garlic, cut the lime, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the stew.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Stir up to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper into the stew after pureeing it, and top it with toasted coconut and/or toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

Tip: Unlike many varieties of dried beans, lentils don’t need to be soaked.  I suggest sorting through and rinsing them to clean away any dirt or debris, but since they cook fairly quickly, you can skip the soaking step (although soaking them will speed up the cooking a bit).

Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values)

Calories 259, Total Fat: 5g, 8%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 20%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 116mg, 5%; Total Carbohydrate: 47g, 15.5%; Dietary Fiber: 14g, 55.5%; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 11g

 

Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew(1)

 

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