Here are my two favorite creations so far this fall. I made them both on a whim last night for Nick, as he had a long day at work and had been requesting some curried butternut squash soup for a while. Little did I know how fantastic this particular soup would turn out! This soup is jam packed with flavor and nutrition. Protein from the red lentils and tons of vitamins and fiber from the squash.
Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (Protein packed!)
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30
2 lb butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth (about 1 carton)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 Tbsp cumin seed, whole
1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil
(optional: add 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp black pepper, for extra anti-inflammatory benefits)
1. In a large soup pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes. Heat until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let cumin burn.
2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat with lid on for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add cubed squash and red lentils and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pot and cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until squash is very soft and mashable.
3. Add coconut milk and stir to combing. Add salt (and black pepper and turmeric if using) to taste. Add cilantro if using. The soup will be chunky at this point. Eat as is, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. You can also use a regular blender, but you will have to blend in batches. Keep warm on low heat. Freezes well!