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Winter Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

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INGREDIENTS

  • 34cup dried garbanzo beans
  • 2 12lbs kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes or 2 12 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3large carrots or 4 mediumcarrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1large onion, chopped
  • 1cup red lentil
  • 4cups vegetable broth
  • 3tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 12tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1garlic clove, minced
  • 12teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 12teaspoons ground cumin
  • 14teaspoon saffron
  • 12teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 12-1teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 14cup lime juice
  • 1412cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1412cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1lime, cut into 8 wedges

DIRECTIONS

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. If you like a very soft chickpea, use the quick method and let the chickpeas boil for five minutes in order to speed up the cooking process.

Chef’s note: Keep your squash and carrots large so that they can withstand the look cooking time without breaking down into the stew.

Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours.

Chef’s note: If you are planning to serve part of this as leftovers, remove that portion from the crock pot and scale the amount of lime juice accordingly. Reserve the rest of your lime to add after reheating the leftover stew.

Stir in lime juice. Season with salt to taste.

Serve over rice (white or brown) sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

Place additional lime wedges on the side for diners to add as they wish.

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