Indian Summer Stew: Butternut Squash, Coconut, and Lentil Stew
- 1 cup yellow split pigeon peas (toor dal)
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or dried shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water, or enough to cover
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
Rinse the pigeon peas in a couple changes of water.
In a large soup pot, combine the squash, drained pigeon peas, tomato, coconut, turmeric, cumin, and enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer another 10 minutes.
To temper: In a small skillet, warm the canola oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and when they stop popping, add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt. Swirl the skillet so the contents cook evenly, and cook another 10 seconds. Then pour the contents of the skillet into the soup, along with the salt. Spoon a ladleful of soup back into the skillet (it will sizzle, be careful!), and pour back into the soup pot. Finish with the honey, lime juice, and cilantro. Adjust the seasonings, to taste, and enjoy a little Indian summer in the middle of your winter!