First off, let me say this soup was so much better than I expected! I thought it was going to be completely ho-hum, especially with such minimal ingredients, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious! I should have remembered butternut squash doesn’t need much from my last recipe Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It’s been awhile since I’ve made butternut squash soup and unlike my last one, this is very filling on it’s own.I began this recipe with thoughts of adding it to pasta as a sauce. It could be used as that, although it’s hearty enough on its own and honestly doesn’t need it. If you do decide to add a grain, a serving of pasta or rice would be perfect. It’s also fabulous with artisan bread (you already guessed that I’m sure). This soup is meant to be thick but feel free to add a tad more water if you like. This truly is a simple recipe from the ingredients to prepping and cooking. Peeling the squash is the hardest part…and really it’s not so bad. No need to roast your butternut squash either, simply make make your soup in one big pot. All together, the flavors are perfect for fall. This would be a colorful and delicious starter soup for the holiday table!
Butternut squash with its sweet flavored, brightly colored flesh is a great source of omega 3s and beta-carotene. It’s also an excellent source of various vitamins like vitamin A, C & B-6 and trace elements such as manganese, copper, potassium and folate. When available, enjoy the winter squash often!
As a vegan, ethical vegan in my case, I’m always doing my best to add in high protein plant-based sources when I can, the addition of lentils are perfect for that while adding extra thickness to the overall soup. Lentils of all color should be a part of any heart healthy diet.The addition of sage is perfect for the fall season and holds its own health benefits, like boosting brain function and working as an anti-inflammatory. Two great reasons to add this herb wherever you can!
Colorful, hearty and delicious!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH + LENTIL SOUP
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or 1/4 cup water (for water saute)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large butternut squash, cubed (about 8 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 2 teaspoons dried sage or 2 tablespoons fresh minced
- 7 cups vegetable broth or water
- himalayan salt & white or fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Cook soup: In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil/water over medium high heat, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add sage and squash and cook a few minutes stirring occasionally. Add lentils, broth and salt & pepper, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until squash is fork tender and lentils are soft.
Puree: Once ready and slightly cooled, puree soup using your preferred method. Use an immersion blender and puree soup right in the pot until desired consistency. Or you can puree in your blender or food processor, this method may take two or three batches to complete. Add extra liquids as needed for desired thickness.
Serve topped with pine nuts and chopped sage if you like, fresh cracked pepper would also be great.
Serves 4 – 6.
I used half water, half broth for this recipe. I use Better Than Bouillon paste, about 1 heaping teaspoon with 3 1/2 cups water. I find that’s plenty of flavor and my soup was great. If not using vegetable broth, I might suggest adding a half teaspoon or so of garlic powder, onion powder and maybe a smidge of coriander to bring some extra flavors to the soup.Keep in mind the smaller you chop your butternut squash, the quicker it will cook. Try to keep them around 3/4″ or smaller.
Add in chopped carrots, about 2 large, if you like.
You may just as well enjoy this soup without blending. Or you may like to use a potato masher instead, this will add some creaminess while still leaving some chunkiness.
Only red lentils will work with this recipe. For one, the color would be altered making it look muddied. Secondly, other lentils take longer longer to cook. If you can’t find red lentils at your local grocery store, try ordering them online.
Try using this as a pasta sauce or serve with a serving of rice.
This can be made a day or two ahead and reheated when ready to serve.