Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

Happy Friday my friends! I feel like we are on the edge of spring but still can’t quite get there. Try this delicious recipe to warm you up instead.

soup top view

Soup? stew? chili? How about a warming bowl of wonderful wintery goodness. When I was writing the title of this post I hesitated for a minute because I wasn’t actually sure what this soup should be called. It’s not really soupy but also not a stew, I wanted to know what really is the difference?? I then realized it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day this is a delicious bowl of nourishing veggies that will warm you up on the coldest of days, when all you want are the winter nights to be over and the light summer days here so badly, and then you take a bite and remember that with this cold season comes the amazing hearty winter produce that I will never get sick of.soup and pot

But really, to save you from googling the difference, I did it for you, and here is what I found (feel free to comment if you have differing opinions on the issue).

  • The dictionary definition of a soup is “a liquid dish, typically made by boiling meat, fish or vegetables in stock or water” So a chili and a stew are essentially types of soup.
  • A chili uses, you guessed it chili’s to add spice and flavor to the dish. You can have a meat or veggie chili, and you can prepare it relatively quickly.
  • A stew cooks slowly, for hours, literally stewing the liquid in the all of the flavors from the seasonings, meat and veggies added. soup and hot sauceAt the end of the day what matters is how packed with flavor and healthy this soup is. It has the sweetness from the butternut squash and a kick of heat from chili powder, ginger and I added a dash of San Augustin hot sauce that arrived in my first Hatchery box. If you haven’t heard of Hatchery, check it out, I am obsessed. Every month you get the cutest samples from different small food companies around the country, it is so much fun!

Back to the nutrition benefits- loaded with fiber and protein from the lentils, vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene- an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent found in tomatoes.

The hardest part of this one pot meal is chopping the squash, if you can’t be bothered doing that just buy it pre-chopped, you can find it at most grocery stores.

So what are you waiting for?….Get cookin’!!

soup and staubsoup upclose

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash, diced large (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup yellow lentils, rinsed well
  • few dashes of San Augustin or other hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Directons

  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook a few minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and slightly caramelized.
  2. Next stir in spices, cook for a few more minutes until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, broth, butternut squash, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and lentils are fully cooked.
  3. Stir in hot sauce and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Garnish with extra cilantro and roasted squash seeds, if desired.

Roasted Squash Seeds

  • Don’t throw out the squash seeds! There are so many things you can do with them.
  • Simply rinse and pat them dry and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they look golden. You can snack on them, garnish the soup for a little crunch, or blend them into a powder for “bread crumbs” on fish, chicken, etc.

Enjoy!

~Amanda

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