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Warming Squash and Green Lentil Stew

This sweet, hearty stew is the ultimate winter comfort food. The carrots, squash and sweet potato simmered together with tomato puree create a multi-dimensional sweetness, cumin and fennel seeds add aromatic depth, turmeric lends an earthiness and harissa adds a touch of spice and brightness that brings it all together. Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt or on scoop of brown rice for an even heartier meal.


(This photo is taken from the next day, reheated, so the greens are a little less vibrant. But as you would expect, the stew is even better on day two!)


(Serves 4)


Ingredients:


-1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into roughly 1/2" size cubes

-1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed as the squash

-1 yellow onion, diced

-2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

-2-4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

-1 bunch chard, de-stemmed and ripped into bite-sized pieces

-3 TBSP tomato puree

-1 TBSP thyme, fresh or dried (I've recently discovered freeze dried herbs which is also a nice option!)

-1 TBSP cumin seeds

-1 TBSP fennel seeds

-1" piece of ginger, grated

-1/2 cup green lentils

-1 tsp turmeric

-salt and pepper

-olive oil

-water

-harissa powder

-Greek yogurt (optional)


Instructions:


1) Heat 2-3 TBSP olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and the thyme and saute until the vegetables are translucent, about 10 mins.


2) Add the cumin seed, fennel seed and grated ginger, along with the tomato puree and saute for another few minutes.


3) Toss in the squash, sweet potato, lentils, and turmeric. Add water, just enough to cover the vegetables by about an inch or two, and a bit more salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat a little to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked.


4) Add the chard and stir until just wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit.


5) Serve topped with greek yogurt (optional) and/or a pinch of harissa powder.