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Thursday, May 13, 2010
Posted by ZOMT

Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup (3)

Brrrr! It was COLD today! In fact, since Autumn started here in Sydney, today was really the first day that had that real wintery bite in the air...you know the kind that makes your nose a bit pink and your fingers and toes cold? On my way to work at 5am it was only 10.5°C! Well it did get up to about 15°C during the day, but it has just been chilly.

Which brings me to my first soup of the season. My mother had told me to buy red lentils the other week and I had yet to find a recipe that I wanted to use them in...I decided that a simple, warming soup with butternut squash and a bit of spice was the perfect way to use them. This was so delicious...the chili combined with the sweetness of the squash and then that tart yoghurt was just a perfect combination. (I'm glad I have another 1.5 litres left!)

Lentils are in the pulses family and are a seed from the Lentil plant or Masoor. There are many different colours and types with brown, green and red probably being the most common. Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, in fact the third highest level of protein, by weight of plant based food sources (after soy and hemp.) The protein includes the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine; however they are deficient in two essential amino acids, methionine and cystine. (sprouted lentils contain sufficient levels of all essential amino acids.) They are a great source of iron and dietary fibre; they contain folate and vitamin B1 and are virtually fat free! At only 230 calories per cup, these are a great addition to your diet.

Butternut squash is also know as butternut pumpkin in Australia. This winter squash has a sweet, nutty flavour that sweetens with ripeness. It is actually a fruit, but is traditionally treated as a vegetable. It is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium.

Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup (2)

Simple Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup
serves 4-8 (2L) / approx. 240 calories per 500ml serve 
approx. macronutrient breakdown: 3.6g fat / 34.7g carbs / 13.4g protein
printable recipe

1/2 butternut squash, 1cm cubes
1 cup red lentils
1 tbsp rice bran oil
2 tbsp basil & garlic pesto
(or 2 garlic cloves & handful fresh basil, chopped)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chili
6-8 cups water
Natural/Greek yoghurt to serve

In a large soup pot, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the pesto (or crushed garlic & basil) and ground spices. Stir around until the spices are fragrant.
Add the chopped butternut squash and stir around to coat in pesto and oil. Allow to soften for about 10-15 minutes over a medium heat.
Add the lentils and stir for another 5 minutes.
Add the water (enough to cover generously,) turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes. When squash is soft and lentils have collapsed, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Process until smooth in a blender and re heat over a low heat. (You may wish to leave half unprocessed if you prefer a chunky soup.)
Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some cracked pepper.

If you would like more whole food, nutritious recipes - then please grab yourself a copy of my free ebook 'A Nourishing Taste' 

Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup (1)


Jennifer said...

Ok so I LOVE butternut soup and lentil soup and it has never occured to me to combine them! Look forward to making this!! :) thanks so much!

Nirvana said...

This soup sounds lovely! I'm going to try it, especially with the cooler weather here now.

Yaz Birth Control said...

This soup looks incredibly tasty. Thanks for the brilliant idea.

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