Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup Tames the Cold

Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Cream

With an Arctic blast of cold air bringing subzero temperatures at night and daytime “highs” from 2 to 7 degrees, what’s a person to do to tame the cold? Make soup, of course. A warming, earthy, spicy and aromatic soup. A satisfying soup made from Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soupingredients already on hand, saving a trip to the store for another day. I improvised a chunky Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup du jour that met all the requirements.

With help peeling and dicing the butternut squash from my just turned 80 years-young husband, Paul, the soup easily came together. The aroma of Indian spices filled the air making our home even warmer and cozier despite the Arctic blast.

Coconut cream to the rescue

Hmmm, the first few bites had me concerned. I went back to the pot and stirred in the rich coconut cream layer from a can of unsweetened coconut milk. A successful rescue operation. The coconut cream mellowed and married the spices, turning my hmmm into a mmm. With the coconut cream adding depth, richness and deliciousness, I changed the name of the soup to Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Cream.

Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup

Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Cream

A chunky, creamy, flavorful, fragrant, warming soup to tame winter’s cold. Inspired by my Curried Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup. Gluten-free and Vegan.

  • The thick coconut cream layer from a can of unsweetened coconut milk mellows and marries the flavors, adding depth, richness and deliciousness.
  • Depending on your love of curry spices, use either the full amount of curry powder called for in the recipe, or a portion of that amount in your soup.
  • For a chunky Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup (my preference), use a blender to purée just 3 cups of the soup. For a smooth and creamy soup,
  • purée all of the soup.
  • Note: Wash and drain the red lentils just before you use them as they mercilessly stick together within seconds of being drained.

Makes 12 cups                                                      Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active Time  30 minutes
Total Time  90 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut or olive oilCurried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup
2 cups ⅓-inch diced onion
1 ½ cups ½-inch diced carrot
1 ½ cups ½-inch diced celery
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup minced fresh ginger
3 large cloves garlic minced or pressed through a garlic press
1-2 tablespoons curry powder or a mixture of curry powders*
1 teaspoon garam masala**
1 ½ teaspoons fennel seedCurried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup
Dozen twists freshly ground black pepper
4 cups ¾-inch diced butternut squash
2 bay leaves
9 cups water
1 ½ cups red lentils
1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
Scant cup of thick coconut cream layer from a can of pure, unsweetened coconut milk
Garnish
A
swirl of yogurt, thinly sliced scallions and/or fresh cilantro leaves

Directions
  1. Heat the coconut or olive oil in a large soup pot over medium low heat. Stir in the diced onion, carrots and celery and sprinkle them with ¼ teaspoon salt. Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup Cover the pot and cook 5 minutes. Uncover the pot. Raise the heat to medium high. Stir in the ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 20-25 minutes to lightly brown the vegetables.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, garam masala, fennel seeds and freshly ground pepper. Cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the diced squash until coated with the spices.
  3. Add the lentils to the pot along with the bay leaves, 9 cups of water and sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil Soup Reduce the heat so the soup simmers. Cook it partially covered for 25 minutes or until both the lentils and squash are thoroughly cooked.
  4. For a chunky soup, use a blender to purée 3 cups of the soup and return it to the soup pot. Purée all of the soup if you prefer a creamy soup.
  5. Stir in the thick coconut cream layer from a can of unsweetened coconut milk to mellow and marry the flavors.
  6. Serve Curried Winter Squash Red Lentil soup garnished with a swirl of yogurt, thinly sliced scallions and/or fresh cilantro leaves.

* I use a mixture of half Penzey’s curry, one-fourth of their Hot Curry and one-fourth of their Maharaj Curry.

** The garam masala I use is also from Penzey’s. Theirs is a blend of ground coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, kalonji, caraway, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Printer-Friendly Recipe.