Winter cooking to me means creamy, earthy squash and cozy, warm soup. This soup combines squash and red lentils to create a well-spiced, filling concoction with a smooth but substantial texture. It’s like butternut squash soup meets dal. Enjoy!
Adapted from NYT Cooking
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and diced (about 5 cups diced squash)
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- Black pepper
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
- Plain yogurt, for garnish
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oil over medium heat in large, heavy soup pot. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.
- Stir in turmeric, squash, red lentils and 2 quarts water. Turn up heat, add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, skim off foam, cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes, until squash and lentils are tender. Taste and adjust salt.
- Purée soup using an immersion blender or, working in batches, in a blender (pull a towel down over the top of blender to avoid hot splashes). Return to pot if using blender. Add black pepper, taste and adjust salt, and heat through.
- Just before serving, heat butter over medium heat in a small skillet or saucepan and add remaining 2 teaspoons mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Cook, stirring, until seeds are lightly colored and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir into soup.
- Serve with a generous dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro if desired.
If you’re like me, you’ll have a ton left over and you won’t be able to eat squash soup every day for weeks. It’s perfect for freezing to enjoy on a later date.