Winter Squash and Peanut Stew

The stew is delicious with butternut, red kuri, hubbard or buttercup squash. I wouldn’t use delicata as it’s not meaty enough.  This stew is rich, nutrient dense, sweet, savory, just a little spicy and vegan. Garnish with green onions and crushed roasted and salted peanuts for an extra kick.


You can also add carrots or substitute carrots for some of the squash.


Serves 6 +/-


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced

2 pounds winter squash cut into chunks, about a rounded 4 cups of chunks (you can always roast a whole or half squash, seeds strings and all, for 20 minutes or so in a 400-425 oven and then remove it and peel and dice which is easier than doing it raw and then proceed with the recipe)

A couple of carrots, scrubbed and cut into rounds (optional, see headnote)

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 cups canned tomatoes, juice and all

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

4-5 cups Vegetable stock + extra as needed

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped

Fresh lime juice, for serving (optional but very good)


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium- high heat. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant, turning down the heat if garlic begins to brown. Add the squash, the red lentils, the tomatoes, the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and give it all a good stir to combine.


Add 4 cups vegetable stock and bring mixture to a boil. If there isn’t enough broth to cover everything by at least 1 inch, add another cup of stock. When soup boils, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until squash and lentils are very tender. If things look too dry add more broth as needed.


Add peanut butter and stir well. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until partially pureed, for a varied texture.


Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve, topped with a tablespoon each of green onion and crushed peanuts and squeeze of lime juice.

21 thoughts on “Winter Squash and Peanut Stew”

  • I made this for dinner last night, and we absolutely loved it! You’re right — the lime makes it amazing! We had a bumper crop of butternuts last summer, and this is how we’re going to finishing eating them up. Thanks so much, Katherine — this is a keeper, for sure!

      • Just a teeny addendum… I made this a couple of weeks ago and discovered I didn’t have enough veggie broth. I didn’t want to sub water, so I made up the difference with apple cider, and it was just wonderful! So when I made it last night and had no cider, I tossed in a cup-ish of homemade applesauce from my freezer stash, and it was even better! We absolutely adore this soup!

  • Made this beautiful, hearty stew today in my new Instapot – it was delicious and quick! I followed it pretty much as you recommend, except for accidentally adding the peanut butter early on and using about a cup of canned coconut milk that I had on hand to dilute it. It turned out great and the coconut milk made it even more creamy. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • cookwithwhatyouhave says:

      So glad you loved. Have squash waiting in the wings and will just have to make it myself again. And yes, those peanuts are key!

  • says:

    This soup is so nurturing—it’s a hug in a bowl. The chopped peanuts add delightful crunch, and don’t forget the lime—I did for some of the leftovers, and we definitely missed it.

    • cookwithwhatyouhave says:

      I love that description. It’s one of my favorites too. And you’re spot on about the peanuts and lime–really needs it.

  • How is it that I keep thinking I have a favorite recipe and then I try something and it’s a new favorite, again and again. Delicious. Thank you, Katherine!

  • says:

    This recipe is out of this world! I loved it. Makes plenty to have for lunches during the week. I was previously making a similar recipe that was carrot based. The squash, lentils and peanut butter add protein and definitely make it more satisfying. Thank you.

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