Squash, Wild Rice, & Lentil Samhain Stew

I celebrated Samhain for the first time this year, and wanted to make a dish for the event that evoked as much as possible just what it is that makes the end of October so fantastical and spooky. I landed on a very thick stew that is extremely healthy and nourishing, but also comforting and hearty, spiced and warming, and it's the very perfect thing for a dark October night (or any of the chilly nights to come!)

Samhain Stew

Serves 6

Oil for sautéing

1 onion, diced

1 small tomato, diced

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp cloves

salt, to taste

1 medium kabocha or buttercup squash, peeled and cubed

2/3 cup wild brown rice, rinsed

2 1/2 - 3 and 1 1/3 cups vegetable stock, separated

1/2 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed

1/2 cup dry green lentils, rinsed

1. In a small pot, bring the wild rice and 1 1/3 cups of stock to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Once done, set aside.

2. While rice is cooking, heat a large, heavy pan and sauté the onion in about a tbsp of oil, for two minutes or until the onion softens.

3. Add the spices, ginger, and salt and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the canned and fresh tomatoes, and cook for 2 more minutes.

4. Stir in the lentils, followed by the squash and the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of water if you'd like a thinner stew.

5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 25-35 minutes, until the squash and lentils are soft.

6. Stir the cooked wild rice into the stew, and serve hot.


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