Pumpkin & Lentil Stew with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (Vegetarian) | Super Easy, Happy Hug Stew

Super Pumpkin Lentil Stew, Copyright aldentegourmet blog

Hey, I hope you're enjoying October! Here we still waiting for better spring days to come. The wishes for homemade ice cream are increasing more + more every day. Seriously! 

But there's always a bright side of things,  right?!  Not only I can bake some goodies during these cold days but we also can keep having stews for lunch or dinner. We are big fans of stews in our home, in fact, my whole family is. I grew up with this type of lentil stew in my home country. And there're so many variations that you can make that is impossible not to experience the happiest moment after one spoon full. It is like a big warm hug! I make different types and a combination of lentil stews; this is entirely vegetarian, but there's also a mix (like this) with chicken + kumara + green beans + lentils that its tastes as delicious too.

Where I come from the most standard version of ‘lentil stew’ is more ‘meaty’ but we prefer this vegetarian version, it is full of flavor and very satisfying. You can always mix and match other vegetables to your taste like instead of pumpkin you can use kumara or sweet potato or use parsnip instead of potatoes.

The cooking process of the lentils is also simplified by just soaking the brown lentils before preparing + making the stew. When soaking the lentils in cool water, they hydrate and cook quickly plus they are better for your stomach to digest (this is the way my grandmother did it (and explained to me) and my mother does it too) and that’s how I know that this process works super nice with brown lentils. And it is explained in the recipe below.

Now, I want to explain the 'how' and 'why' about some of the ingredients in this recipe, so it makes more sense also. You will see that coconut sugar is listed, pimentón (which is a spice similar to paprika and cayenne, that we use a lot in my home country), and ghee are listed too. Ok, the coconut sugar I use to reduce the acidity of the tomato sauce, the pimentón (you can buy this at any Spanish store or substitute with paprika or cayenne) to enhance the flavor of the sauce and ghee to cook the vegetables simply because is a healthy fat and I love the taste of it (but if you’re vegan you can substitute for vegetable oil). Ah! and about the toasted pumpkin seeds they add a pretty + tasty crunchy texture to the stew. Hope you'll give this easy + comforting meal a try, I'm sure you'll like it!  

Super Pumpkin Lentil Stew, Copyright aldentegourmet blog


yield 2 adults

For the Stew

3/4 C. Brown Lentils**
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
1/2 Medium-Large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 Celery Stalk (leaves included), finely chopped
1/2 Small Yellow Bell Pepper, into small cubes
1 Large Potato, cut into cubes
2 C. Pumpkin, cut into semi-thick slices or cubes 
1 x 400 gr. Can of Diced Tomatoes 
3 1/2 C. Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cube Vegetable Bouillon
1/4 tsp. Pimentón (paprika or cayenne)
1 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Ghee 
Salt to taste

For the Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 C. Pumpkin Seeds
Water (filtered water if possible)
1/4 tsp. Coconut oil or olive oil (optional)
Himalayan Salt, to taste


Soaking Brown Lentils**:

To simplify and make the lentil cooking time process easier, just soak the brown lentils for 45' - 1 hr. After that rinse well and they are ready to use! 

Making The Stew:

Now, in a saucepan (preferably large) at medium heat add ghee. Once the ghee has melted add garlic + onion + celery + bell pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until vegetables starts to get soft. 

Add can of diced tomatoes + bay leaf. Add (pre-soaked) lentils + water + vegetable bouillon + pimenton (or paprika) + coconut sugar. Give it a good stir. And add pumpkin slices/ cubes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.  And that's it! Now sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy! 

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:

In a bowl add pumpkin seeds and cover with water. Let it soak for 3 hours. When ready, drain the seeds and dry (lightly) with a paper towel. Now, in a frying pan add a bit of oil (about 1/4 tsp. coconut oil or olive oil) +  pumpkin seeds + salt to taste toast for a couple minutes. Now they're ready!

Super Pumpkin Lentil Stew, Copyright aldentegourmet blog