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Return of the Squash

February 8, 2011

Remember late last fall, when Ryan put his foot down about so many of our meals revolving around squash?

I do, if only because Ryan putting his foot down happens about twice a year.  I mean, the guy watches The Bachelor with me with no complaints…he has a pretty high tolerance for not putting his foot down.

He didn’t really complain about our squash consumption until it hit an all-time high.  I think we’d had it for dinner four nights in a row…and our skin might have been turning a little orange.  So what?  It was a delicious way to get a healthy tan!  

But, being the nice personal chef wife that I am, I heeded his complaints and stopped cooking squash.

For a while.

But, tonight, I just couldn’t resist.  There’s just something about squash that is so delicious and comforting—in my mind, there is no better stew than one that centers around big, soft chunks of butternut squash.  And besides, the season of winter squashes is drawing to a close…before you know it, spring will be here, and it will be another six months before our lovely acorn, kabocha, and butternut friends are back on the grocery shelves.

I’ve made stews similar to this one a hundred different ways, so you really can’t mess it up—but, this is the recipe I used tonight, and I have to say, the flavors really came together well.  It looks like a lot of spices, but trust me—it’s worth it!

Curried Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into 1-inch chunks

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. yellow curry powder

1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1/2 cup small red lentils

1/4 cup golden raisins

3 cups water (plus more if needed)

1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat olive oil.  Add onions,  cooking until beginning to brown.  Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes, careful not to turn.  Add tomatoes and butternut squash and cook for about five minutes over high heat.  Add spices, lentils, raisins, and water, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a high simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the lentils and squash are soft.  If needed, you can add more water as the cooking process progresses.

Just before serving, remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.

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Mmmmm…you can really ride out the rest of winter with this one!  The raisins get really plump during the cooking, and the sweetness of the raisins and squash is really well balanced with all of the different spices. 

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Delicious!  

It’s Bachelor time…now where is my husband?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 2:36 am

    I am going to have to try this – ASAP! I’ve been using lentils a lot lately and am looking for new recipes (I’m making snobby joe’s tonight!).

    Enjoy your evening!!

  2. February 8, 2011 8:34 am

    Oooh, that looks tasty! I love squash, but I’d probably get tired of it too often, lol.

  3. February 8, 2011 12:53 pm

    I feel like I’d eat squash 10x more often if they weren’t so scary to cut open!! I love butternut with cinnamon though…

  4. February 8, 2011 1:42 pm

    Oh my goll…I want to make that tonight! I think I actually have most of the ingredients…well, with a few substitutions (split peas for lentils…acorn squash for butternut)–OK, so it wouldn’t be the same at all really. 😉

  5. February 8, 2011 3:08 pm

    Well really, he can’t complain when the squash comes like that! It looks delicious. I had to put my foot down with mashed potatoes recently. Tony just kept wanting them and while I love mashed potatoes it was over kill!

  6. February 8, 2011 3:09 pm

    In our CSA last summer, we got what I thought was a squash so I sliced it, coated in egg and bread crumbs, and baked–in an effort to make squash fries. Turns out it was some kind of fancy Asian melon and was most certainly not meant to be made into melon fries!!

  7. February 8, 2011 7:50 pm

    Well crap, wish I would have seen this before I started dinner tonight. I had lentils on the brain. I have a kabocha calling my name too. Instead I started a black bean crockpot creation LOL

  8. February 8, 2011 11:35 pm

    Yum, this looks wonderful! I’m a fan of anything squash and lentils and this looks like a winner too. Thanks!

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