Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew

by Sarah Jane

Red Lentil Stew

If I am to be perfectly honest, Livio and I haven’t been the most successful “detoxers”. I do not think we’re going to last 21 days with the detox. It is hard to change eating patterns, however this detox has helped us reexamine our diet and get out of a cooking rut. I even got Livio to eat a frittata with Spinach and red bell peppers in it! That is a first. When a pot of stew is as fragrant and spicy, not to mention as beautiful as this one, it makes it easier to eat something that you wouldn’t usually make.

The original recipe called for sweet potatoes which I couldn’t find here in Italy, so I used butternut squash instead. I also made the broth myself. I think it is an important step as it gives this the freshest taste possible. Besides, pre-prepared broth is too salty and full of preservatives and additives. This keeps well for leftovers, so you can also have lunch ready for the next day!

Red Lentil Stew2


Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew
adapted from whole living


2 Tbsp coconut or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 diced large onion
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 minced cloves garlic
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 peeled diced butternut squash (or 1/2 of a large one)
1 diced (stemmed, seeded) red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils
6 cups Cleansing Broth (recipe below) or regular vegetable broth
Chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook cumin, turmeric and curry powder until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion with a few pinches salt, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add butternut squash and bell pepper and cook 1 minute.

2. Add lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cilantro before serving.


Cleansing Broth


1 large chopped onion
6 chopped carrots
1/2 head chopped celery
1 halved head garlic
1 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
12 cups water
4 cups spinach
1 bunch fresh parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large pot, cover onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add spinach and parsley and simmer five minutes more. Season with salt (I recommend starting with 2 tsp and adding it to taste after) and pepper. Strain liquid; discard vegetables.