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Winter Squash and Lentil Stew

14 November

Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium winter squash (butternut, or kabocha, or delicata), peeled, seeded and diced
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 cups stock of choice
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups French green lentils, picked through (you can substitute brown or regular green lentils)
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cups tightly packed spinach (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook 5 minutes. Add squash and season with chili powder and ground cumin. Cook 1 minute.
2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and lentils. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add sea salt. Simmer, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and spinach, if using. Adjust stew to your desired consistency.