Pumkin Stew with Sour Cream

This tasty recipe comes from the BBC's web site.

  • 40g/1½oz butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 400g/14oz lentils
  • 1.2litres/2pints 2fl oz vegetable stock
  • 600g/1lb 5oz assorted pumpkin or squash (total chopped weight)
  • small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sour cream

In a large pan melt the butter and then add chopped onions, carrot and celery. Tear in the rosemary and a couple of bay leaves and after a few minutes add the chopped garlic. When all have nicely softened, tip in the lentils and pour over 1litre/1¾ pints of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer whilst you tend to the pumpkin.

Using a variety of pumpkins and squashes gives the stew a more complex flavour. Here I use acorn squash and Cinderella, but you want to end up with about 600g/1lb 5oz of peeled pumpkin in large chunks. Add them to the stew, season and then pour over enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

When the stew is almost ready, add the chopped parsley.

To make the stew creamier, remove a small bowlful to a food processor and blitz it with 200ml/2fl oz of stock. Pour it back in and the stew becomes instantly more velvety.

Serve the stew in bowls, finishing each helping off with a cooling spoonful of sour cream.