Lentil Stew With Pumpkin

This year has brought so many amazing things into my life, the most amazing being my daughter who will be one on the 15th, and with her discovering so much about myself and the possibility of meeting people that I may have never had the opportunity to meet. Not to get too cheesy on people, but I have felt very lucky in our second year in Charleston. Life became a little easier despite the new complications that parenthood threw at us, I feel like we have embraced our new roles with grace and ease.

To celebrate 2010 and to guarantee riches for a 2011 filled with even more gems, we will celebrate with lentils, as the Italians do, though this recipe is not like the very simple preparation for lentils that Italians eat on New Years eve, it has hidden gems beneath that brown exterior of saffron, pumpkin and turmeric giving it a deep middle eastern flavor that made us swoon.

Lentil Stew With Pumpkin

  • 1/2 pound (1 heaped cup) lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 6 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 20 sprigs cilantro, tied into a bunch
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 medium or 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound winter squash (such as pumpkin or butternut squash) or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Combine the lentils, water or stock, onion, garlic cloves and bay leaf in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Rub the saffron between your fingers and add to the pot, along with the turmeric and the cilantro. Reduce the heat, add salt to taste, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Remove the onion and garlic cloves from the pot, and add the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Bring back to a simmer, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Discard the cilantro bundle, taste and adjust seasonings. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: This will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator. When you reheat it, you may need to add some water. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

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~ by italicious on December 31, 2010.

One Response to “Lentil Stew With Pumpkin”

  1. I love lentils (just had some today, as a matter of fact, leftover from New Years. But I had never thought to combine them with pumpkin. Great idea, I’ll have to try it!

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