Autumn is here and there’s a wonderful crispness in the air, marking the harvest season. If there’s one vegetable that would be the ambassador of autumn, it would have to be the butternut squash. You see it everywhere this time of year–roasted, sauteed, salads, even desserts. Personally, I love butternut squash soup but I need to change it up sometimes so that my family and I don’t get sick of it. I love this version, from Daily Unadventures in Cooking, because the lentils add heartiness and the coconut milk adds a little exotic flavor. Although not included in the original recipe, I like to puree the butternut squash with some of the stock before adding it to the soup.
(image and recipe from Daily Unadventures in Cooking)
1 small butternut squash (about 1.5-2lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small leek, small dice
1 small fresh hot pepper, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy center. Oil each half gently with olive oil or cooking spray, put face down on a cookie sheet and bake until tender when pierced with a fork(about 25-40 minutes).
Meanwhile heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, the onion, celery, carrot, leek, pepper, garlic, curry powder, ginger and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir regularly and sweat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables soften a bit. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add lentils and stir regularly at a simmer for 15 minutes.
When squash is tender scoop out it’s flash and gently mash with a fork. Stir the squash into the soup. Stir the coconut milk into the soup until well incorporated. Taste and correct for seasoning. Serve hot.