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Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew
Butternut squash, red lentils, and sweet potato are wrapped in a lightly sweet and creamy coconut and tomato broth accented with spicy notes of turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic. Apple cider vinegar provides a tangy brightness to bring everything together. This stew tastes better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to mingle; if you can make it the day before serving, I’d highly recommend it! This recipe was created for Pulse Canada, and was inspired by Deliciously Ella.
Course: Mains

Ingredients

For the Stew

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (30 mL)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (400 g)
  • 1  large sweet potato (450 g), peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups/340 g)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14-ounce/398 mL)
  • 1 can light coconut milk (14-ounce/398 mL)
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons pink salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tsp apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 bunch chard, stemmed and finely chopped

Optional Accompaniments

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced
  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder

Instructions

  • To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  • Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  •  Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you are spice-shy, feel free to add half the amount to start and increase from there after cooking, to taste.) Stir well to combine.
  • Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  • Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
  • Stir in the chard, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
  • Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.

Notes

TIP:

 Make sure to dice the squash and potato very small (about the size of almonds), as this will expedite cooking. Also, if you are short on time, you can skip peeling the butternut squash as the skin is edible. (I don’t recommend skipping peeling the potato, though.)
You can swap the red lentils for 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed).
You can swap the chard for 5 ounces of baby spinach or a bunch of kale (stemmed). I recommend chopping the greens into small bite-size pieces for easier eating.