Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest post: Lentil and butternut squash soup

I love soup. In many ways I think it is the perfect food. Except for the small fact that my kids usually won't eat it. To get around this I normally make a big pot of jasmine rice and mix some of the soup with a bowl of rice and then we are all happy. But this soup! This soup is the only one that my youngest son Sami—who had declared hating ALL soups—requests for me to make. When I served it earlier this week he stunned us all by eating three bowls. Then he asked to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Can it get better than that? Why yes! Because, you see, this soup is phenomenally easy to make and is very versatile as a leftover. I created this vegetarian soup based on the flavors from a favorite chicken and rice dish and I never wrote down or measured the ingredients. The recipe that follows is pretty close—but more or less of any of the ingredients to suit your taste is probably fine.

What you will need:
2 yellow onions
garlic, minced—about 3 med. cloves
ginger, minced—about 4 quarter-sized slices
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you don't like it so hot)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups vegetable broth
1 bag lentils
1 medium butternut squash

1. Coarsely chop the onions and saute over medium-high heat until translucent.
2. Toss in the minced garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes.
3. Add spices and stir thoroughly for about a minute
4. Add the vegetable broth and lentils, increasing the heat to bring to a boil.
5. Start preparing your squash now. When you have finished peeling, seeding and chopping, your soup should be at a rolling boil.
6. Add the squash and reduce the heat to medium.
7. Continue to cook until the squash is soft. You may also continue cooking for a few more minutes to reduce the soupiness further.

To serve, you could pair this with some freshly cooked rice or eat it by itself as a soup. If you like cilantro, toss a few leaves on each serving or mince a medium-sized bunch, mix with plain yogurt, and add a dollop to each bowl.

For lunch today I put a few tablespoons of it in a fresh flour tortilla and served it burrito-style. The cilantro-yogurt would be a tasty condiment for this. My husband liked this so much that I'm going to prepare a whole bunch of them and stick them in the freezer for those days when I don't want to cook.

Christine's blog home is at daysixtyseven.  She writes about life in the less-virtual home she shares with four boys, all of whom have hearty appetites.


  1. This sounds so delicious! I may follow your lead and make some to freeze for my husband to take to work. I guarantee he'd be like your Sami and eat three bowls then ask for more!

    I may also make this w/out the lentils so I have something for Nik, too. (No beans/legumes for him.)

  2. My husband would love this soup. He loves lentils, I think anything with lentils is his favorite soup.

    If I were a really good wife I'd make it for him to take to work for lunches.

  3. Sounds YUMMY !!
    I am so impressed by all the from scratch cooking you do

  4. Wow, this looks so good! I will definitely be making this soon, thanks for the recipe. I hope it as successful with my kids as it is with yours.