The weather turned cold in Southern California today which made it the perfect opportunity to make some stew. In my continuing quest to clean out the pantry I saw that I had a bunch of red lentils, so those became the base of the stew. As I often do, I went to epicurious to look through their recipes containing red lentils. I came across one by Ruth Cousineau (from Gourmet Magazine 2/2009) that I based this stew on, but as usual I tweaked it to make it healthier and to include ingredients that I had in my fridge. This was a very hearty and filling dinner…not to mention tasty!
INGREDIENTS (Makes 4-6 main course servings)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. butternut or kambocha squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs.s minced peeled ginger
1 Tbs. curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups water
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Accompaniment: cooked brown basmati rice & chopped cilantro
Heat oil in a large pot and add in the squash,onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and salt. Cook until soft and beginning to brown (15-20 minutes) stirring occasionally.
Add in the curry powder and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
Add in the lentils and water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam. Simmer for 25 to 40 minutes until the lentils are cooked. At the end stir in the lemon juice and taste to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed.
Serve over brown basmati rice and top with chopped cilantro.
For a printable version of this recipe click here.