While salad is my absolute favorite food, soup is a close second ~ especially on these erratic spring days when you can have sunshine one minute, hail the next followed by a dark clouds and an unexpected rainbow. This soup, easy to prepare, relatively quick, and extremely delicious, is a great addition to your spring menu.
You might be asking, what is kombu? It is an edible kelp widely eaten in Asia. I like to use it in place of bay leaf in this soup. Just remember to remove the kombu before blending the soup!
Butternut & Red Lentil Soup Ingredients:
2 teaspoons organic toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons organic olive oil
1 local onion, chopped (available at the Moscow Food Co-op)
1 local butternut ( or other winter) squash (mine is a from Tonnemaker Farm)
1.5 cup organic red lentils, cleaned and rinsed
10 cups water
2 tablespoons organic chicken bouillon (or vegetable bouillon)
1 strip kombu or 1 large bay leaf
sea salt or miso to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Wash winter squash. Cut in half and remove seeds. Peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Dissolve bouillon in one cup of hot water.
Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed soup pot. Add onion and squash and saute 2-3 minutes. Add cumin and coriander. Stir for 1 minute. Add lentils. Stir. Pour in bouillon and remaining water. Add kombu or bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes or until soft and creamy. Remove kombu or bay leaves.
Remove from heat and blend until creamy with an immersion blender (a kitchen staple, if you don’t have one, it is definitely a good investment!). Season to taste with sea salt or miso.
Garnish with roasted nuts, pumpkin seeds, fresh chives, cilantro or other spring greens.
Variations: Substitute brown lentils or split peas from Pacific Northwest Farmers Co-op for the red lentils. Use yams or carrots in place of winter squash.