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Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.”
¾ cup dried chickpeas
2½ pounds kabocha squash, (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon saffron, (see Note)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup lime juice
½ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
2Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
3Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6½ hours.
4Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.