Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spicy Curried Butternut Red Lentil Soup

     I may regret (or even deny) ever saying this, but I really would love to have just a little bit of that snow that other people are getting. Just a little bit, mind you. Not this much. Enough to be able to enjoy a day of being snowed in, but not enough to make my driveway impassable. Is that asking too much?

     I'm pretty sure I'd make soup. Maybe this one. Just spicy enough, with tender little chunks of butternut squash that create bursts of sweetness as they melt in your mouth. Perfect for a day of staying inside and looking out. I'll be flushing some ice cubes and wearing my jammies inside out and backwards tonight. Think that'll work?

Spicy Curried Butternut Red Lentil Soup
1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 medium to large onion, chopped (small dice)
1 Tablespoon ginger root, grated or diced (Freeze your ginger root, and it grates beautifully.)
1 butternut squash- peeled, seeded and cubed (smallish cubes, about the size you'd cut potatoes for potato salad) My butternut squash was about 2 pounds.
1 can light coconut milk
2 cups dried red lentils, washed
1 quart broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or to taste)
Salt to taste

Heat oil (medium heat) in large soup pot.  Add onions and ginger and cook until onions are translucent.
Add curry powder and cayenne, and cook a few seconds until fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until lentils and squash are tender.  If, during cooking, soup gets too thick, add water or broth as needed. (Check often to make sure the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of your pan.)
If you prefer a smooth soup, use a blender (careful- it's hot!) to puree. I usually blend about 3/4 of the soup, and then add it back to the rest. That way there are still some chunks of sweet butternut in the soup.

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