“This lentil and pumpkin stew is all about how to make a straightforward recipe a lot more exciting – with very little effort. Perfect for when it’s cooling down outside and you want something really warming.
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1.2litres/2pints 2fl oz vegetable stock
600g/1lb 5oz assorted pumpkin or squash (total chopped weight)
small bunch parsley, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp sour cream
1. In a large pan melt the butter and then add chopped onions, carrot and celery. Tear in the rosemary and a couple of bay leaves and after a few minutes add the chopped garlic. When all have nicely softened, tip in the lentils and pour over 1litre/1¾ pints of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer whilst you tend to the pumpkin.
2. Using a variety of pumpkins and squashes gives the stew a more complex flavour. Here I use acorn squash and Cinderella, but you want to end up with about 600g/1lb 5oz of peeled pumpkin in large chunks. Add them to the stew, season and then pour over enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
3. When the stew is almost ready, add the chopped parsley.
4. To make the stew creamier, remove a small bowlful to a food processor and blitz it with 200ml/2fl oz of stock. Pour it back in and the stew becomes instantly more velvety.
5. Serve the stew in bowls, finishing each helping off with a cooling spoonful of sour cream.
All the best Jan