I absolutely LOVE red lentil soup. I have tried many versions and enjoy each one just as much as the last. This version seemed perfect for autumn with the incorporation of butternut squash. The squash added a subtle sweetness and beautiful color.
I made this wonderful velvety soup in advance to serve for lunch on Thanksgiving Day. (I am sure it freezes well!) This recipe was adapted from Saveur. I doubled the original recipe and decreased the amount of olive oil and red pepper flakes. We ate it with green salad and naan. Perfect.
Yield: Serves 12
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled, seeded, cubed, and then finely chopped
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 cups organic chicken stock
- 2 cups red lentils
- finely chopped parsley, for garnish
- paprika, for garnish
- flatbread (naan) and lemon wedges, for serving
- Finely chop the garlic, carrots, celery, and onion in a food processor.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, 12 to 14 minutes.
- While the base is cooking, finely chop the cubed butternut squash in a food processor.
- Stir the cumin, chile flakes, squash, salt, and pepper into the carrot-celery-onion mixture; cook until squash is soft, about 15 minutes.
- Add stock and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, slightly covered, until lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Let soup cool slightly, then, working in batches, purée soup until smooth. (I used an immersion blender.)
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with parsley and paprika; serve with flatbread and lemon wedges on the side.
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