Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.
- 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
- 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.
Tips & Notes
Notes: Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
Saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.
Make Ahead Tips: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Calories: 304, Carbohydrates: 51 g., Fat: 7 mg., Saturated Fat: 1 mg., Monounsaturated Fat: 2 mg., Protein: 15 mg., Cholesterol: 0 g., Fiber: 12 g., Postassium: mg., Sodium: 579 mg