Yup. It’s fall. It’s been raining and cloudy for the past couple days and I’ve been craving New England-y kinds of foods. A stew with a generous proportion of butternut squash is just the thing to go along with this weather and my newly purchased seasonal gourds! This stew is really, really basic and a cinch to make. The squash is really the only hassle; made me realize how dull my vegetable peeler is. Once you’ve peeled and chopped all the veggies, you just throw them in the pot and you’re done!
Vegetable and Lentil Stew
adapted from Candle Cafe Cookbook
1 cup dried lentils, I used brown
4 cups water or broth
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (optional – I had one l needed to get rid of)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried thyme
generous coarsely ground pepper
salt to taste (depends on if your canned tomatoes are salted or not)
cubes of extra sharp cheddar cheese
1. Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in a big pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until largest vegetable chunks are tender. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking. Add more water if it’s too thick for you, but I think it’s best if it’s thick.
2. Adjust any seasonings, if needed, and serve. Add the cubes of cheddar right before serving and stir to mix in. The idea is that they get kind of melty, but are almost like another vegetable in the stew (ha, I wish!).
You can serve this with slices of crusty bread if you’d like. Enjoy! And make sure your seasonal decorations are out – crucial.