Recipe courtesy of EatingWell.com

Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 7 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

3/4 cup dried chickpeas

2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup red lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon saffron (see Note)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Soak 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.
  2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
  5. Ingredient note: 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.