Spicy Red Lentil Soup With Butternut Squash And Cauliflower

Spicy Red Lentil Soup With Butternut Squash And Cauliflower
4.7 from 3 ratings
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.
  • 6 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cup cubed (1/2-inch dice) butternut squash or same quantity of pre-cut squash
  • 2 cup 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 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 5 cup chicken broth or stock, plus more if needed
  • 2 cup (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkle of cilantro.