This recipe came about as I was trying to use up a bunch of veggies. I wanted a hearty stew that felt light so I decided to focus on sweet tastes. I was thinking of something along the lines of the Sweetcorn and Lentil Soup that I made a while back. I remember not liking that soup much at the time, but I’ve made it since using a little less sugar and sherry and a little more salt and it’s been nice. This soup reminds me a bit of that recipe. The touch of curry powder in this gives it a savory, spicy complexity. This would work well with any sweet winter squash you may have sitting around burning a hole in your pocket. Not a vegetarian? Try chicken broth instead of the veggie broth, and add some shredded chicken breast to the stew. If you want a creamy soup add the soy milk (or regular milk) at the end. The picture you see here is without soy milk. I tried it both ways and it’s actually good either way. Why the sweet dumpling squash? Well, I needed to use one up and honestly I’m sick to death of roasted squash. I feel like every time someone I know gets a squash they say: “Let’s roast it!” and I feel like there’s got to be more to squash than that. This sweet dumpling definitely delivered in this recipe. Jake is not a fan of squash and I asked him if he minded it this time. His reply? He said that the flavors blended so well that he honestly barely noticed he was eating squash. I feel like I really accomplished something there. As I write this blog post I actually find myself wondering what would happen if I did halve and roast some sweet dumpling squashes and use them as an edible bowl for this soup rather than put the squash into the soup. Hmmmm. If anyone tries this please post in the comments below and let me know! Now I’m curious!
Sweet Grain Curry Stew
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 sweet dumpling squash, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 cup brown rice
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon curry powder
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup soy milk, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large stew pot, sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat till translucent.
2. Add the yellow bell pepper and squash and sauté till the bell pepper is just tender.
3. Add the flax seed, brown rice, red lentils, bulgur, corn, parsley, basil and curry powder. Stir and cook 5 minutes.
4. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook till the grains and squash are tender. The grains will soak up a lot of liquid. Add extra water if needed.
5. Turn off the heat and add soy milk, stirring to incorporate.
6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.