Summer stew of courgette, squash and tomato

Summer stew of courgette, squash and tomato
  • Low phosphate
  • Low protein
  • Low salt
  • Vegetarian
  • Main meal
  • 1 hour or less
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A plant-based low salt, low protein recipe ideal for those advised to reduce their protein. Be advised this is not low in potassium.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Small butternut squash (to give about 400g flesh once skin and seeds discarded), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

300g courgette, cut into 2cm cubes

200ml low-salt vegetable stock

150g dried green lentils

400g large, ripe tomatoes’ skins discarded and flesh grated

1 lemon, zested then juiced

100ml soured cream

15g fresh dill, stalks removed and finely chopped

To serve

4 slices sourdough bread


  1. Step 1

    Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onion and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion starts to soften and turn a light golden brown.

  2. Step 2

    Add the garlic, tomato purée and paprika, cooking and stirring for another minute. Then add the butternut squash cubes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until they are browned all over. Next, mix in the courgette cubes and cook for a further 3 minutes to let them brown.

  3. Step 3

    Add the stock and lentils, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are cooked through but not mushy. Add the grated tomato and the lemon zest and juice, along with a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and heat through, giving it all a good stir to combine.

  4. Step 4

    Toast the bread and ladle the stew into four bowls, topping each one with a good spoonful of soured cream and a sprinkle of chopped dill. Serve together immediately.

Food facts

The lentils and bread are the main sources of carbohydrate in this main meal and the value has been provided for those who have been trained in insulin adjustment.

This dish is high in potassium, so only suitable for those that do not need to follow a potassium restriction.

This recipe is low in phosphate, however does contain some phosphate. Therefore, if you have been prescribed a phosphate binder ensure you take them with this dish.

This dish is low in protein, which makes it suitable for those advised to eat less protein.

Use gluten-free bread.

Use dairy-free cream or yoghurt instead of soured cream.

Use low-fat yoghurt instead of soured cream for a lower fat option.

Making this when squash is in season in the UK makes this a very cost-effective recipe, rather than buying imported squash out of season. Sourdough bread can be replaced with your usual bread to keep costs down.

This can be kept in the fridge for three days, then reheated in a pan or the microwave - you will need to add a splash of water first as the vegetables and lentils absorb it.

If you cannot get really ripe, fresh tomatoes, then you can use 300g of tinned tomatoes instead. If you’re not vegetarian, you can use low-salt chicken stock instead of low-salt vegetable stock.