Start with onion, chopped and sweated in a little olive oil. When the onion is soft, add garlic, harissa (or cayenne), cumin, turmeric, and paprika.
Continue to stir and fry for a minute or two until the garlic and spices are golden and fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes (or diced canned or grated fresh tomatoes), tomato paste, parsley (my parsley was frozen but that's fine), salt (or in my case, broth powder for extra flavour) and pepper:
Continue frying for a little longer until the new ingredients are fully incorporated:
...and scrape this spicy, heady mixture into a pot of lentils that you have providently been gently boiling all this time. Add cubed squash (mine was kabocha, but of course any sweet winter squash, peeled or skin on, would be good):
Simmer until the squash and lentils are tender--in my pot this took about 20 minutes. Just before serving, add coriander to taste. It wasn't part of the recipe, but about five minutes before taking the pot off the stove, I sprinkled in a few tablespoons of whole wheat couscous and ended up with this:
Otherwise, you'd want to serve the stew with bread or rice. This was a lovely, nutritious meal in a bowl, something that, with my seemingly bottomless love of winter squash, I expect to make many more times this winter...especially with the cold weather finally coming on. Doesn't it just look all warm--and I can assure you that the flavour, even with that small amount of harissa, is pretty hot! Stay tuned for further squash experiments--there's a big green hubbard and a little red kuri squash on my table looking very inviting...