Thursday, February 16, 2012

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

So this week I finally got to try a recipe that one of my coworkers at the Hospital Lab had given to me. She's not Vegetarian, Vegan or plant-based but, she knows that I am. And she was just going on about how good this stew was. So, whenever a 'meat-eater' gives me a plant-based recipe and they are excited about it I just
have to give it a try. And it is great! 

The mix of winter squash, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and red lentils are great on their own. But, in this recipe you finish the soup off by sprinkling with lime juice, peanuts and cilantro. This ingredients completely transform this dish and shouldn't be overlooked. It is warm and filling. Even my wife Michelle, who isn't "a soup fan," enjoyed this meal! It has 15gms of protein as well so this is going to fill up even the heartiest of 'meat-eaters' you my have in your house hold ;-)

Now, usually when I'm trying a recipe for the first time I like to follow it as closely as possible, as long as I have the ingredients. (I mean a cooks gotta do what a cooks gotta do when you don't have the ingredients, right!) Unless I'm simply using the recipe as inspiration, then all bets are off and I just use the recipe as a springboard to create my own. In this case I didn't have enough Kabocha squash so I used a little pumpkin I had on hand. I also had made my own vegetable broth several weeks ago so I used that in the recipe as well. Other then that I followed it to the letter.

See as this is not my own creation here is the link to the original recipe. Also, I've left it in it's original format verse my usual; ingredient, then amount, then prep and 1 2 3 steps format. Enjoy!

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

recipe nutrition

Per serving: 304 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 2 g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 12 g fiber; 579 mg sodium; 1029 mg potassium Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (310% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (30% dv), Potassium (27% dv).


  • 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 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


  1. 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.
  2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
  5. Notes: 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.

recipe source