Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lentil and Squash Soup

My Mother-In-Law told me about this lovely soup book call Love Soup by Anna Thomas. And since I do LOVE SOUP and since my Mother-In-Law is the Goddess of soup making, I knew I couldn't go wrong. This was my first soup that I made from this book and it was fantastic! The book is totally vegetarian, which I love, even though I am NOT vegetarian. It is just so nice to have a few recipes that DON'T call for meat. I topped it with these croutons and a dollop of sour cream, YUM! But really you could garnish it with so much!

Lentil and Squash Soup
(6-8 servings)

1 generous cup of lentils
1 1/2 t sea salt or kosher salt
1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped (I used 1 large)
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 small yam or sweet potato
2 T minced fresh ginger
1/2 T ground cumin
1 t turmeric
1/4 t red pepper flakes (more , if you want it to have a big kick)
4-5 cups vegetable broth (if using canned, dilute with 1 cup water)
2-3 T fresh lemon juice

optional garnishes

olive oil
sour cream
grated cheese
(I used homemade croutons and sour cream, and LOVED it)

Preheat oven to 375.

Rinse lentils and combine them in a soup pot with 4 cups of water and 1 t salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.

While the lentils simmer, cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast the squash in the oven for 45 minutes, or until soft. While the squash is roasting, saute the onion in the olive oil with a big pinch of salt, over medium heat, stirring often, until they are soft and golden (about 20 minutes). Peel and dice the yam.

When the lentils are just tender, add the sauteed onion, diced yam, minced ginger, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and 4 cups of vegetable broth. Simmer everything together, covered, for another 25 minutes. As soon as the squash is ready, scoop it out of its skin and add it to the soup. Cook until everything is soft. You can add more broth if the soup seems to thick. Puree the soup in batches in the blender or with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and add lemon juice to taste. Adjust the seasonings, if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish as you like.

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