Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew Recipe with Cilantro-Lime Gremolata
This chickpea and butternut squash stew recipe with cilantro-lime gremolata combines aromatic spices with butternut squash, ginger and garlic for a warm and fall cozy stew. Topped with the 3-ingredient cilantro-lime gremolata, this creamy stew is perfect for a weeknight dinner and elegant enough for your next dinner party.
Raise your hand if you have ever had a butternut squash (or other winter squash) sit on your counter for weeks at a time. You pick it up at the farmer’s market or grocery store, or receive it in your CSA box, and overall, have great intentions for it. But, well, winter squash are storage squash, and they do that really well, i.e. sit on your counter for weeks at a time. This recipe makes it worth busting out your sharpest knife (this is one of my favorites) and cutting open that winter squash.
Building Flavor in Layers
Building flavors in layers is essential to incredible tasting food. This chickpea and butternut squash stew starts with sweating the onions and pepper, then adding fresh ginger and garlic, spices and salt. Next we add the squash and lentils and broth for the next layer. After that comes the chickpeas and optional tomato paste. I added tomato paste when I made this recipe, but later decided I didn’t really like the sweet flavor, and I think it masked the spices a bit, so it is up to you. The stew is finished off with a flavor kick of a cilantro-lime gremolata, a fourth layer of flavor which adds a delicious kick to the whole dish.
I served this up with some cardamom-scented quinoa (just throw 2 pods in the pot when cooking the quinoa). The stew is really a meal on it’s own, but would be great served with this Massaged Kale Salad.
Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew with Cilantro Lime Gremolata
- 1 white onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons refined coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teapoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
- 1 small butternut squash
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste (optional)
- Dice onion and red bell pepper. Mince garlic and ginger. Peel butternut squash and cut into chunks.
- In a medium soup pot, over medium-high heat, add oil. Add onion and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add minced garlic and ginger, spices, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until starting to stick slightly.
- Add broth or water, chopped butternut squash, and red lentils. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Lower heat to a simmer, covered, and until squash and lentils are soft, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chickpeas and tomato paste, if using. Cook for 15 minutes more. Serve immediately!
- Finely dice jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro. Zest 2 limes and juice one of them.
- Combine diced ingredients with lime zest and juice, oil, salt, and pepper, and let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.