I love this dish. It uses one of my favourite crops to grow - the squash. Also, in autumn and winter, when a richly spiced stew is a welcome meal, many of the ingredients in this dish can be available from the allotment.


2 tablespoons of oil

2 large onions, diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

100g red lentils

400g tin of chickpeas, drained

8 strands of saffron

500ml of passata 

A handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Large bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

300g squash or pumpkin

1.2 litres of veg stock

1 bay leaf

50g orzo


Serves 6


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions for a few minutes Add the garlic, celery, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. Saute for a few more minutes.


2. Add the lentils, chickpeas, saffron, passata, parsley and half the coriander. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.


3. Peel and dice the squash or pumpkin into 2cm cubes. Add to the pan with stock and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the orzo and simmer until cooked. I like to remove the lid at this point to allow the stew to reduce and thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


3. Serve and scatter remaining coriander leaves over the top.


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