Stop the presses!!! I found a delicious recipe and I cannot wait to share it with you! I am a huge fan of soups, especially hearty soups that can be served as a meal. The reason I love soups and stews so much is because they are packed with nutrients that leave me feeling full and satisfied. Water soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C and B Vitamins, are easily destroyed by heat. When making soup, water soluble vitamins are leached into the boiling water creating a nutrient dense broth (this is definitely a good thing!). The fiber from the veggies make you feel fuller for longer periods of time making this soup a great low calorie, nutrient dense food.
My favorite food blogger, Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows, has created a number of delicious recipes for her plant-based food blog. The Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew provides an explosion of flavors leaving you with that warm and fuzzy feeling you get from eating a home-made meal. This is the perfect cold and rainy, curl up with a blanket, Net Flix binging, kind of day soup. And, most importantly, it is healthy. This dish is a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants. In addition, it contains turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. Inflammation is the underlying cause of most diseases so you want to consume foods that reduce inflammation.
My husband loved this soup! The recipe makes good amount therefore we had left overs for a couple of days. And, the flavors intensify after a day or two. Lucky us!! If you Meal Prep for the week make sure to add this to your list.
I slightly modified the recipe from Oh She Glows. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Stew
Butternut squash, sweet potato, and red lentils are cooked in a creamy coconut and tomato broth. The blend of aromatic spices and just a hint of acidity from apple cider vinegar creates a perfect fusion of flavors.
Add the oil, onion, and garlic to a large pot. Stir to combine. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and sauté for a 3-4 minutes.
Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are tender.
Add apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
Add the chickpeas and stir in the chard. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the greens are wilted.
Ladle stew into a bowl and enjoy!
Dice the sweet potato and butternut squash into small bite sized pieces so it cooks quickly
I like to use a pressure cooker to make soups and stews. Follow the instructions and set setting on high for 8 minutes (cooking times may vary, refer to your owners manual). Use the immersion blender for 2-3 seconds then stir in chickpeas and chard until leaves are wilted. Serve and enjoy.
Jasmine or brown rice- serve stew over 1/2 cup of rice
Cilantro- sprinkle with cilantro and serve
Plain Greek yogurt - add a dollop over top of your stew
Vegetable broth- replace with chicken or bone broth
Chard- replace with spinach or kale (stemmed and cut into small pieces)
Coconut milk- replace with lite coconut milk to reduce fat and calories