Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.
Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
- 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash ((see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 large carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron ((see Note))
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
- Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
- Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
- Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
Considered the world’s most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.
Adapted from Eating Well