Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
Soups are a great option for this time of year and I love any meal that I can cook in one pot. Soups can also be an easy way to pack lots of nutrients into one dish. I used to make butternut squash without roasting my squash because I thought it was more work but, it turns out that it is much easier than peeling and dicing a big squash and the roasted flavour really adds depth to the soup! I also add lentils for protein and fibre and to make the soup more hearty, their mild flavour works well with the warm spices. I have included options in this soup to make it vegan/vegetarian for those who prefer that as well.
1 medium butternut squash 1 tsp canola oil 2 tsp butter or olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp cumin 1 carrot, chopped into 3-4 pieces 4 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable stock 1 cup dry red lentils
1. Roast the squash – cut squash down the middle vertically and remove the seeds with a spoon. Brush the flesh with the canola oil and place face down on a baking sheet (alternatively, I skip the oil and just place my squash face down on a silicone baking sheet). Bake at 400° for about 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft and fork tender. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh of the squash and set aside in a bowl.
2. To make the soup: melt butter or heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the spices and cook them for about a minute to toast them and bring out the flavours.
3. Add the carrot, squash, stock and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes, until the carrot has softened, and the lentils are cooked.
4. Puree with an immersion or regular blender.
5. Serve and enjoy with your favourite crusty bread.