What a treat to combine lentils, chunky butternut squash and warming spices, with a bit of lite coconut milk and almond butter (or seed butter), to create a whole food plant-based luscious stew. Hearty, flavorful and nourishing, this dish is a treat. If you want to reduce the fat, leave out the coconut milk and almond butter; the stew will still be delicious. Serve with a tossed green salad, and perhaps a crusty whole grain bread, and you will have a perfect meal.
Heat a large pot and add the onion. Stir for 1-2 minutes, and add a bit of broth to prevent burning, and to deglaze the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes to color it a little, then add the carrots and celery with about 1/4 cup more of broth. Stir, cover, and turn to medium/low for 7 minutes to soften the vegetables a bit. Don’t let them burn.
Add the garlic, and curry, cumin, coriander, oregano, and pepper flakes and continue to cook for about 2 minutes to ‘toast’ the spices.
Add squash, lentils, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cook covered for another 30 minutes until the squash is very tender and, if using dry lentils, they are cooked.
Spoon 1/2 cup of broth from the soup and add to a heat proof bowl with the almond butter, whisking until blended. Stir this back into the soup, and add ginger, tamari and lemon juice. Add the spinach. Stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, and add salt (optional) and pepper.