Thursday, March 29, 2012

Curried-Squash and Red-Lentil Soup

I love cooking with Lentils. They are tasty and quite healthy for you too! The only thing is that they always seem to take longer to cook than the recipe says. But this recipe is worth the wait! The recipe says to make a cilantro oil to drizzle over the finished soup, but I just added chopped cilantro in at the end instead. To serve, I first spoon cooked rice into the bottom of the bowl and then ladle the soup over the top.

Curried-Squash and Red-Lentil Soup
Adapted from Gourmet

For Soup:
3 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs minced peeled ginger
1 tbs curry powder
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 quarts water (I sometimes use chicken stock as well)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste

For cilantro oil:
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Accompaniment: cooked basmati rice

Make soup: Heat oil with butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger and 1 tsp salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in curry powder and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
Add lentils and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25-40 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

For cilantro oil: Puree cilantro, oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a blender. Serve soup drizzled with cilantro.

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