A healthy Moroccan-spiced Stew with butternut squash, chickpeas, and lentils! You’ll love this protein and fiber packed meal!
Let me just start off by saying that this winter has been one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Minnesota is an icicle and I’m about ready to pack my bags, abandon everything, and get on a plane to any place with good margaritas and warm weather (Cali?).
It’s gotten to the point where every time I venture outside, my toes automatically become numb, even with wool socks. To top it all off there was a blizzard last week, my car got stuck, and I didn’t leave my house for two days. THE WORST.
Enough complaining though! It’s time for a little soup for the soul. The comforting good kind that warms your heart. I like those kinds, don’t you?
This stew is incredibly easy to make and inspired by my recent travel where I experienced the most delicious, fresh flavors; this recipe is exactly that. I even used some of my favorite ingredients: basil, cilantro, lemon, garlic, cumin, a pinch of cinnamon, and saffron.
Have you ever tried Saffron? It is truly an amazing spice and a great addition to the stew. My boyfriend’s mom gave me a small box of it and I’m so happy I finally figured out how to put it to good use. I have seen saffron at Trader Joe’s before and I’m sure most grocers carry it. Unfortunately, it is a bit expensive.
We should probs chat about why this stew is so wonderful. Here are all the reasons I could think of (besides amazing flavor):
Vegan and gluten free. This soup will fit into anyone’s diet. If you prefer to add meat, I suggest ground turkey!
Includes fiber and protein packed chickpeas and lentils: No really! There’s 14 grams of protein and over 16 grams of fiber per serving.
Butternut squash provides great source of vitamin A: I like buying the cubed kind for ease. You can also use sweet potatoes!
Low calorie and filling: There are only 260 calories per serving and all of the protein and fiber help you to stay full.
Is it just me or is the combination of chickpeas, lentils, and butternut squash in a tomato based broth a little enchanting?
Don’t you dare forget that fresh squeezed lemon juice either; it adds a unique twist to the stew that isn’t overpowering. I also love to use both basil and cilantro, but either will work based on your taste preferences!
Stay warm, friends. xoxo.
- 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 3 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 pound butternut squash, diced large (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- few dashes of red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- a few basil leaves, chopped
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook a few minutes or until the onion becomes softened.
- Next stir in cumin, cinnamon, and salt and pepper; cook for a few more minutes until spices are fragrant. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, butternut squash, lentils, and saffron. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and lentils are fully cooked.
- Stir in lemon, red pepper flakes, cilantro, and basil. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Garnish with extra cilantro and greek yogurt, if desired. I like serving mine with spinach. Makes 6 servings - about 1 1/2 cups each.
Instead of butternut squash, you can use sweet potatoes or acorn squash.
I like to buy already-cut up butternut squash for ease; you can usually find it at Trader Joe's.
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