Lentils are such a wonderful food! They’re tiny, but they pack a powerful dose of protein and fiber. But unlike many “superfoods” on the market, lentils are inexpensive! Less than $.50 worth of lentils will give an adult about 1/3 of the protein needed for an entire day. They’re quick-cooking, and can go from dry to ready-to-eat in just a few minutes. They’re even easy on the environment because they increase nitrogen in the soil and are an erosion-friendly crop. Besides the many other benefits of lentils, there’s the simple fact that lentils make a very tasty, hearty soup that will stick with you and give you energy for hours. Add some delicious organic winter squash, and you have a one-dish meal that’s full of healthy nutrients and protein but low in fat. This winter squash and lentil soup is seasoned with warm cumin, ginger and the faintest hint of cinnamon, and served with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and a dollop of yogurt. Yummy!
It’s up to you what kind of winter squash you use, I still have a lot of pumpkin puree left over so that’s been my go-to squash this year. You could also use acorn squash, banana squash, or butternut squash. If your squash isn’t cooked and pureed yet, you’ll need to do that. Just cut the squash in half, prick it all over with a fork, lay it face down on a pan and roast it at 350 degrees until it’s soft. Then, peel the rind off the squash and run it through a food processor. In addition to the squash, you’ll need lentils (red lentils will make a prettier soup, but I only had brown), vegetable or chicken stock, spices, garlic and onion.
Start by sauteing a finely chopped organic onion in some coconut oil. Add a few cloves of pressed garlic, the lentils, and most of your spices (you’ll save the ginger for right before you serve the soup). Then, pour a few cups of vegetable or chicken stock over everything and let it simmer until the lentils are tender. Use a hand blender to puree the soup until it’s smooth, or transfer the soup to a regular blender in small batches and blend until creamy.
Then, add the pureed squash, a little more broth, some lemon juice and the ginger and heat the soup back up for a few minutes. When you’re ready to serve it, garnish with a little organic, raw milk yogurt and a sprinkling of shelled toasted pumpkin seeds. Beautifully delicious!
- 2 teaspoons organic coconut oil (where to buy)
- 1 small organic onion, finely chopped
- 2 or 3 cloves minced organic garlic
- 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (here's how to make chicken stock)
- 1 cup dried organic lentils
- 1 teaspoon ground organic cumin
- ½ teaspoon organic coriander seed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon crushed thyme leaves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground organic red pepper
- 1½ cups organic roasted and pureed winter squash (pumpkin, acorn, butternut, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon organic grated fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup organic, raw milk yogurt
- ¼ cup organic toasted shelled pumpkin seeds
- In a large stock pot, saute the onion in the coconut oil. When the onions are transparent, add the garlic, cumin, salt, cinnamon, red pepper, coriander, thyme and lentils. Pour 3½ cups of organic or vegetable stock over everything and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Using a hand held blender, blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Or, put the soup in a blender and carefully blend in batches until smooth. Make sure you allow for the escape of steam as you puree the soup, and be careful not to burn yourself!
- Add the pureed squash and the rest of the soup stock to the soup, and stir well. Add the ginger and lemon juice and stir, bring the soup back up to just below a boil and heat for 3 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with a drizzle of yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.
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Do you have a favorite lentil recipe?