This soup is neither red, heart shaped nor will it make your beau swoon. Ok, well, it might do the last part because I think I saw 'A' teetering on swooning when I made this for dinner last week. He may have also been falling asleep sitting up but I'm going to be positive here and settle on swooning. Regardless of the holiday at hand (Valentine's Day for all you people reading this any other day but 2/14), I think this soup is fitting for the one who makes your heart beat a little faster because it will keep your heart healthy for all valentines to come.
To help save money, I've become that lady at the supermarket checkout with bags upon bags of bulk items. Nuts, grains, peanut butter filled pretzels… you name it, I have it in a twisty tie bag or old glass jar somewhere. As my pantry was starting to seem a little overwhelmed, I lightened the load and put some lentils and chickpeas to good use. Along the way I may have picked up a butternut squash the size of my head but hey, who are we kidding here, they're delicious.
With all our key players at hand, I crafted the most magnificently large pot of stew ever. Even after sending 'A' off with leftovers for work, I had enough to feed me for about a week. Towards the end the stew was probably a bit questionable, but as it goes with stews, the longer it is left to age the better it tastes. True story. As the soup is 100% vegan, my logic was that the lack of dairy meant it would last longer. Right? Even if I'm wrong, let me float along in blissful ignorance.
So if you want to keep you and your valentine's heart strong for years to come, save money AND have a delicious dinner, why would you want to make anything else?
Chickpea, Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Stew
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 can chickpeas
- juice of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (save some for garnish)
- Heat a large dutch oven (or saucepan) and dry-fry the cumin, chili flakes and garam masala for 30 seconds or until they start "jumping" around the pot and release their aroma.
- Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic and jalapeño and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and carrot are softened.
- Stir in the lentils, stock, tomatoes and butternut squash, then bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils have softened.
- Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste, heat gently. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve and finish with a garnish of cilantro.