Tuesday, January 10

Winter (Squash) Is Coming

Soup. In my opinion it’s best when the weather drops under 30°F (-1°C). So this Monday it was at a bloody low 20°F (-6°C)and this summer baby whipped out ingredients to make Curried Red Lentil & Winter Squash Soup.

The history of this soup comes from a co-op that I worked at a few years back. It was during a time where I really didn’t know where I sat at in the culinary world. It was fun. The store was filled with all types of people [hippies, hipsters, stay-at-home moms and dads, 9 to 5ers, conservative republicans, and Wiccans]. In this one place in the universe everyone got along.

So watching my co-worker and friend make this soup I eventually memorized a few recipes. I’m no genius, this soup is incredibly wholesome, rich, and easy to make. Also it’s vegan and gluten free.
  • 1 small Winter Squash (I prefer butternut squash)
  • 1 cup Red Lentils
  • ½ chopped Onions (Spanish, Yellow, or White)
  • 2 - 3 chopped Carrots
  • 1 quart Vegetable Broth (preferably from scratch, but store-bought is okay too)
  • 1 can (13.5 fl oz) coconut milk (regular and not the light version. Make sure it's unsweetened!)
  • 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • Fresh Cilantro (a tablespoon worth)
  • 1 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • Salt to taste ( I recommend salting at the end. You do it once, you will soon learn why. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED)
  1. Cut, gut, and slice the squash into chunks. Pan spray a tray and place the squash on the tray skin up. 
  2. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350°F or (176°C) until very soft.
  3. When cooled (don’t burn your hands), scoop out the flesh into a bowl for later.
  4. Place the canola oil in a big pot on a medium low temperature. When the oil is hot (NOT SMOKING) add the onions and carrots and sauté until tender.
    It doesn't matter if the cuts are professional. The carrots and onions are going to get pulverized anyway.

  5. Add the Red Lentils and stir until they are coated with the remnants of oil.
    Uncooked Red Lentils

  6. Add the Vegetable Broth and cook the mixture until the Red Lentils are soft and cooked.
  7. Include the remaining ingredients and mix occasionally for 45 to 60 minutes. I usually place a lid on the pot and clean up my prepping mess at this point.
  8. When done take an immersion blender or food processor and go to town until smooth. Please not that I like my soup on the chunkier side. Don’t worry if you want it completely smooth. If you do, strain it through a China Cap.
  9. Salt to taste.
  10. Pour it into a bowl, add some cilantro (or parsley) to garnish, and enjoy.
    Time to eat!

 If you make it, let me know what you think!
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