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Squash & Chickpea Stew

My carnivorous husband tolerates our mostly-veggie meals. We only have meat a few times a week, partly because I want to eat good meat and couldn’t afford to do so every night but mostly because there are so many meat-free recipes out there which are so healthy. High in nutrients, packed with protein and low in saturated fat, this is one I did for the first time tonight and is definitely a keeper.

It’s taken from a recipe in the River Cottage Veg Every Day book. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it took me about half an hour to prepare and is dead simple.

You will need:
2 Tbsp oil
2 Onions, diced
1 Stalk of celery, finely diced
1 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tsp Turmeric
Half tsp ground ginger
Half tsp ground cinnamon
100g red lentils
Tin chickpeas
8 Saffron strands, toasted and crushed (I just chucked mine in non-toasted, sorry Hugh)
500ml Passata
Handful chopped fresh parsley
Handful chopped fresh coriander
300g Squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped into large cubes
1.2l Veg stock
1 Bay leaf
50g Orzo

1. Heat the oil and cook the onions until soft
2. Turn down the heat and add the spices, garlic and celery. Cook for a few minutes
3. Add the lentils, chickpeas, saffron, passata and fresh herbs
4. Cook on low for about 15 mins (I added a bit of water at this point as it started sticking)
5. Add the squash or pumpkin and bay leaf
6. Cover and simmer for 30 mins
7. Add the orzo and simmer until cooked
8. Season, serve and enjoy!

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