Curry Lentil Squash Soup

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just got back to Seattle after a wonderful long weekend with my family and friends at home. Just a couple more weeks of class before we break for the holidays, but I’m looking forward to the Seattle holiday activities while I’m here!

I made this soup a couple weeks ago during a cold spell, and it’s a wonderful, warming winter soup. The curry adds a great flavor to the squash, as well as a nice orange-y color, perfect for fall or winter! You can use whatever squash you like, I just decided to try it with acorn squash. If you want the soup to be a bit sweeter, I would suggest butternut squash or maybe kabocha. Either way, with soup,

I find that if you just add things to the pot and blend it all up and taste as you go, you can’t go wrong! Here’s the recipe I made:

Curry Lentil Squash Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 acorn squash (about 4-5 lbs)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

1 ½ cups dried brown lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

1 14oz can coconut milk

1 ½-2 tbsp curry powder

2 cups water (to desired consistency)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 410˚F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil on the cut part of the squash, then place cut side down on the baking sheet, bake for 35-45 minutes, until the squash are easily pierced with a fork. Remove and allow to cool enough to scoop out the flesh.

While the squash is cooling, heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onions start to become translucent. Pour in the lentils and toast them slightly, then pour in the vegetable stock and increase heat to medium-high.

Bring the lentils to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk and curry powder and continue to simmer over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. If necessary add more water (I added about 2 cups, maybe 3) to thin the soup enough to blend easily. Add the squash and heat through.

Use an immersion blender (or allow to cool slightly and carefully transfer in batches to a regular blender) and blend the soup until smooth. Add more water if necessary to desired consistency. Serve warm with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

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Roasted Fall Vegetable and Lentil Soup

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m taking a study break, and I wanted to share a recipe for a soup I made earlier this week that turned out better than I expected. I was making some pumpkin cookies, and I was going to have some pumpkin puree left over, so I started thinking of way to use it, and settled on making some soup. I added the lentils to give it some protein and make it hearty enough for a full meal, and roasted a bunch of vegetables to add to the pumpkin. This is a recipe where an immersion blender comes in extremely handy, since once I had all the ingredients in my pot, rather than blending it in shifts, I was able to just whir my immersion blender through it all and it became wonderfully smooth. It’s a great recipe for a chilly fall evening, and I’ve been having it with some toasted baguette on the side for the last few days. Here’s the recipe!

Roasted Fall Vegetable and Lentil Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil (approximately)

1 acorn squash

1 sweet onion

4-6 oz carrots (I used baby carrots I had in the fridge)

1 1/2 cups split red lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

2-3 cups water (more or less depending your desired consistency)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (this is what I had left in the can, you could do more or less, or omit if you don’t have it on hand)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425˚F and line a couple baking sheets with foil. Cut the acorn squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, and place cut side down on one of the baking sheets. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, until fork-tender.

Chop the onion and carrots, toss with olive oil, and spread out on the other baking sheet sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until fork-tender.

While the vegetables are roasting, put the lentils, vegetable broth, and 2 cups of the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the lentils to cook until soft, then add the pumpkin puree.

Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to the pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette and enjoy!

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Curry Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well, I had my first final today. Which means that I should start studying for my other two next week, but instead I’m going to take a break and talk a little bit about food. To all my fellow quarter-system college students-good luck studying!

I decided to make some acorn squash, since I’ve used a lot of butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but I feel like I neglect this fall squash. It’s not my favorite, since it’s not quite as sweet at butternut squash or sweet potatoes, but it sure is pretty. When you cut the squash crosswise into rings, they make nice little flowery rings, and I just had to do something with that, so here we are!

For this dish, I made some curry lentils in the slow cooker, then I roasted the acorn squash, some cauliflower, and onions. I put a scoop of lentils inside the acorn squash rings, then topped the whole thing off with the roasted vegetables. The result? A delicious meal, packed with fall flavors. The slightly sweet squash, combined with the spicy curry, and the savory roasted vegetables all complement each other to make a wonderfully balanced meal. It does take some waiting, for the vegetables and lentils to cook, but the hands on time is pretty minimal. In any case, this is a dish worth trying!

Curry Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups red split lentils

1 14oz can lite coconut milk

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp olive oil

2 acorn squash, sliced crosswise, seeds removed

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 sweet onion, sliced

Directions

Mix together the lentils, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and curry powder in the slow cooker. Turn on low and allow to cook for 4-5 hours, until the lentils are cooked through and soft. This can also be done on the stove. Simply combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. On one baking sheet, toss the acorn rounds with half the olive oil, then place in the oven. On another baking sheet, toss the cauliflower and onion with the other half of the olive oil, then place on the sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

To assemble, place an acorn squash ring (or two or three) on a plate, then place a scoop of lentils in the middle. Top with the roasted cauliflower and onions. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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A delicious fall meal! It happens to be vegan too 🙂

Slow Cooker Curry Lentils

I’ve never made lentils before, since they take so long to cook, and I don’t have hours to stand over the stove making sure my pot doesn’t boil over. The solution? Four hours and a slow cooker! This is my second recipe in the slow cooker, the first being Indian Butter Chicken. I was not terribly impressed with the flavor of the Indian butter chicken, but that’s more because I don’t really like tomato-based flavors with chicken. However, I loved how easy it was to make: I just threw everything in the crockpot and walked away for six hours. Which gave me time to make the five other dishes I made that day. For this lentil dish, I decided on a flavor that I do like, curry! I love yellow curry, and I usually use curry sauce from a jar, as in this Curry Tofu, but for this I decided to go with coconut milk and curry powder. Word of warning though, while delicious, the curry powder I used (from Trader Joe’s), is a bit on the spicy side for me. I don’t tolerate spicy very well at all, and this dish has a bit of a kick to it. So if you’re not a spicy person, find a curry powder that isn’t too spicy, or you could substitute a jarred sauce instead.

As with all slow cooker recipes, this one was super easy to make! I just threw everything in the slow cooker and let it cook while I went on with the rest of my day. The wonderful curry smell filled the apartment, and when I finally tasted this dish, it was delicious. The lentils and vegetables were nice and soft, and the curry flavor was just spicy enough to keep me from shoveling it into my mouth, so I got to savor the flavor. I look forward to having this for lunch for the rest of the week, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Slow Cooker Curry Lentils

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils (or color of choice)

14oz coconut milk (I used light)

3 tbsp yellow curry powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 yellow onion, diced into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces

1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 of a large head of cauliflower (about 2 cups), broken into florets

3 cups spinach leaves, chopped

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the spinach leaves in the slow cooker. Stir to combine everything. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, until all the liquid has been absorbed. During the last 15 minutes, add the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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Dinner is served!