We love soup and stew for their comforting and cozy nature, but we love them even more when it’s something we can truly feel good about eating. One of soup’s major selling points is that it’s a full meal in a bowl, but when a soup can claim that it’s also nourishing and wholesome… well, then it’s really gone and stolen our heart. This Lentil Butternut Squash Stew has done just that. It’s as cozy and comforting as any cream-laden soup might be, but it’s full of good-for-you ingredients and a balance of sweet and spiced flavors that we can’t get enough of.
It can be hard to find a vegetarian stew that’s truly hearty, but with lentils, chickpeas, and butternut squash, this one feels like a real ‘stick to your ribs’ kind of meal. It’s a healthy bowl that will keep you full, but it’s really the amazing flavor that keeps us coming back to this plant-based stew. The sweetness of the butternut squash plays against the spice of the cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, while the lentils add an earthy, toothsome bite.
You can spend a long while extolling the healthy virtues of this stew – the fiber, the protein, all of the vitamin A & C, the iron – but what really counts is how good it tastes. And trust us, it tastes good. (Like, really good.) And don’t forget that squeeze of lemon when you serve it! That extra hit of brightness really brings it to new heights.
Lentil Butternut Squash Stew
Serves 4-6; 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 4-6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups French lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 medium lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. When oil is hot, add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, and cook for one more minute.
- Add crushed tomatoes and 4 cups of the broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils and butternut squash, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until squash is tender and lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in chickpeas and spinach, and cook until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. If a thinner consistency is desired, add more stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with lemon wedges and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.