Today my lunch was this wonderful homemade soup. Look at that colour!!
Do I have to mention that it was a triumph?
Oh, and the Butternut Squash are from the brother-in-law’s allotment, aren’t they beauties?
Spicy Butternut And Lentil Soup.
Before I start I’ll just say that although I found the recipe title on the net and thus got the inspiration, I threw away their recipe cos it was boring and made up my own version 🙂
Serves 4 (or 2 of me:-)
1 large or 2 smallish Butternut Squash (around 600g)
100g Red Lentils
1 medium-ish Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
2 fresh Chilli
1tsp Garam Masala
1tsp ground Turmeric
1tsp ground Cumin
1tsp Cayenne Pepper
2-3 Bay leaves
Water as required to make the soup thin/thick enough for you 🙂
Rinse lentils in water until it runs clear.
Peel, slice open and de-seed the Squash, then chop into inch chunks. Peel and chop a medium Onion into similar size chunks. Bash open a couple of Garlic cloves, removing the skin in the process. Place the lot in a roasting dish and chuck in a couple of fresh, whole Chillis. Drizzle the whole lot with Olive oil and toss to coat. Stick in the oven at around 200 degrees for 40 minutes-ish, during this time take it out and toss it around a couple of times to ensure even roasting.
Bring the Lentils to the boil in a pint of clean water. Boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for a further 10-15. In my opinion, if you are skimming the water as you go, you can skip the step of changing this water later. Once the Lentils are tender (you can drain them here if you wish and use fresh water), add a Veg or Chicken stock cube. Now you can add the rest of the flavours and spices, the fun part here is deciding how YOU want it to taste. I’d definitely recommend you at least try using the Garam Masala 🙂
Let the lentils simmer a little more, they are probably going to disappear around this point, dont worry they are doing their job! This will also give the spices a chance to cook out.
Once the Squash is tender, add the contents of the roasting tray to the soup base. Simmer the lot for another 10 mins (unless youre pushed for time) to let the flavours mingle. Add salt and Pepper to taste, before finally fishing out the Chillis and Bay leaves. You might also take out the cloves if you prefer. Now its your choice of blitzing or, as I did, using a Potato Masher.
My top tip here (and you deserve one if you’ve stuck with me so far!) is that if you are going to use your partners treasured* plastic masher AND you’ve used Turmeric, you might want to think carefully before proceeding!
*Really! Apparently, its made by Prestige and it was a massive £5.95 way back in 1992.