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Spicy Red Lentil Soup With Butternut Squash and Cauliflower

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Recipe excerpted from 'Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year' by Betty Rosbottom

I’ve often told my students that I could become a vegetarian if I lived in India. I love the way that country’s cooks take humble ingredients like okra, potatoes, spinach, and lentils and transform them with fragrant spices, yogurt, and fresh herbs. The following recipe is a good example. Red lentils, or dhal, and a medley of winter vegetables are simmered with spices in stock until tender. As they cook, the lentils lose their coral hue, and break down into a rough purée that thickens this soup.

Recipe excerpted from Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year by Betty Rosbottom, Rizzoli New York, 2016. Click here to purchase your own copy.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 Cups cubed (1/2-inch dice) butternut squash or same quantity of pre-cut squash
  • 2 Cups cauliflower florets, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices, packaged florets work fine
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon curry powder, plus more if desired
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Cup red lentils
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 Cups chicken broth or stock, plus more if needed
  • 2 Cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup chopped cilantro

Directions

In a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add squash and cook, stirring often, until cubes are browned lightly and slightly tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and set aside.


In the same pot, heat 2 more tablespoons of oil until hot. Add cauliflower, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.


In the same pot, heat the remaining oil until hot. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add curry powder, ginger, cumin, and several grinds of black pepper, and stir 30 seconds. Add lentils, garlic, and 4 cups of the chicken broth or vegetable stock. Bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils start to break down and lose their color and mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.


Stir in squash, cauliflower, and remaining 1 cup of broth or stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 4 to 5 minutes. (Soup can be prepared two days ahead. Cook to this stage; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat, stirring, over low heat.)


Add spinach, stirring 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted. If soup is too thick, thin with a few tablespoons of broth. Season with salt and a pinch of curry if needed.


Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkle of cilantro.

Nutritional Facts
Servings6
Calories Per Serving400
Total Fat20g30%
Sugar7gN/A
Saturated3g17%
Cholesterol12mg4%
Protein18g37%
Carbs40g13%
Vitamin A61µg7%
Vitamin B60.5mg25.2%
Vitamin C29mg49%
Vitamin E3mg15%
Vitamin K71µg88%
Calcium103mg10%
Fiber6g25%
Folate (food)217µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)217µg54%
Iron4mg21%
Magnesium60mg15%
Monounsaturated10gN/A
Niacin (B3)5mg24%
Phosphorus197mg28%
Polyunsaturated5gN/A
Potassium831mg24%
Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg17.5%
Sodium970mg40%
Thiamin (B1)0.5mg30.6%
Zinc2mg11%