With colder weather rolling in across the United States, many individuals are reaching for their best soup recipes to help warm them up. While there are several great recipes out there, one of our favorites involves the combination of two ingredients: butternut squash and lentils. If you're searching for a new and flavorful recipe to add to your repertoire, continue reading as we dive into the step-by-step instructions for making the perfect butternut squash lentil soup.
Wondering where all of the hype around soup comes from? While sipping on steaming hot soup is an excellent way to keep everyone in your household toasty, it's not the only benefit they offer. Soups make for a healthy and fuss-free way to get dinner on the table quickly. Plus, they're loaded with nutritional benefits. Here are a few reasons we believe soup deserves a spot on every menu.
Soup Is Overflowing with Nutrition
When made with healthy and wholesome ingredients, soup makes for an easy way to meet your daily quota for veggies. Whether you choose to add just a few vegetables to your soup, or a handful of them, adding vegetables to soup will provide additional flavor and nutrition. Additionally, because vegetables can be added to soup in any state—fresh, frozen, or dried—they create a unique texture that you won't get from other foods.
Soup Is Budget-Friendly
There are very few requirements for making a great-tasting soup. In fact, if you have a recipe to begin with and a slow cooker or pressure cooker, you can prep a soup in minutes and allow the cooking vessel to do the rest of the work. Additionally, because all ingredients are mixed, most soups can be made using a one-pot method, providing a quick and easy cleanup. To keep the cost of your soup low, we recommend using small amounts of more expensive ingredients like proteins and using more liquid and vegetables instead.
Soup Is a Great Meal Prep Option
Soups and stews can be made in large batches in a pot or slow cooker, and while you may not consume the entire batch of soup in one evening, the rest of it can be frozen and enjoyed later. Because soups freeze well, they are an excellent option for individuals who meal prep at the beginning of the week. For example, whip up a large batch of soup on Sunday evening and refrigerate or freeze it to enjoy as lunch or dinner later on. By doing so, you'll have a healthy, whole food meal waiting for you whenever you're too tired or busy to cook. Plus, you won't have to spend time wondering what to make during the week!
Butternut Squash Lentil Soup Recipe
If you're convinced and ready to try out a soup recipe yourself, begin by making this butternut squash lentil soup. Delicious and simple to make, follow the instructions below to get started.
A Breakdown of the Two Main Ingredients
Several ingredients are required to create this mouthwatering recipe. However, butternut squash and lentils are the two most important of all the ingredients. These two ingredients combined make a warming and hearty flavor that's sure to warm you up on the coldest of days.
If you've never cooked with butternut squash before, then this butternut squash soup recipe is the perfect way to start. Butternut squash is a winter squash that has a sweet, nutty flavor and bright orange color. Most often used in savory dishes like soups, stews, curries and casseroles, it can also be combined with sweeter ingredients to create desserts like pies or muffins. Its unique bulb-like shape creates a squash that's easy to recognize, while its bright flavor makes it hard to resist. While the skin is thin enough to eat, most people prefer to peel it or scoop out the center after roasting or steaming it.
Lentils are a type of legume that has been used in cooking for centuries. They're believed to have originated in the Near East. However, they're most often cultivated throughout Europe, Asia and North Africa and regularly featured in the cuisine. Popular dishes like Indian Dal can be found in restaurants worldwide, and lentils are now a staple in many at-home kitchens. At Bob's Red Mill, we carry three types of lentils. Red Lentils, Brown Lentils and Petite French Green Lentils. Each makes an excellent choice for soups and is loaded with nutritional benefits.
- ½ tsp crushed Red Chili Flakes
- ½ tsp Paprika
- 6 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill® Red Lentils
- 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 small Butternut Squash, seeded and chopped into small cubes
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium Carrots, finely chopped
- 1 medium hite Onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground Cumin
- Chopped Parsley
- Greek Yogurt
Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions
To make a great-tasting butternut squash lentil soup, reference the ingredients list above and follow the steps below.
- Start by preheating the oven to 400°F.
- Add squash to a large bowl and combine with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss all of the ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed.
- Arrange the seasoned squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until squash is tender.
- Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Heat the remaining oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the carrots, garlic and onion to the oil.
- Stirring occasionally, cook all ingredients for 12-14 minutes until they are slightly caramelized.
- Next, stir in the chile flakes, cumin, paprika and roasted butternut squash and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and lentils to the mixture and bring them to a boil.
- Once the stock has reached a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Slightly cover the stock, and cook it for 20 minutes or until the lentils have become tender.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly before adding it to a blender to puree it until it's smooth in texture.
- Garnish the cooked soup with parsley, pepitas and yogurt and serve immediately.
Additional Lentil Recipes
Want to begin cooking with lentils more regularly? We've rounded up a few of our favorite lentil recipes to help you get started.
Creamy Lentil Soup
There's nothing better than warming up to a homemade bowl of soup on a cold winter day. Like the butternut squash lentil soup above, this Creamy Lentil Soup is full of texture, flavor and nutrients. It's the perfect way to curb your hunger pangs and is made with Bob's Red Mill® Red Lentils to ensure quality. Flavored with curry powder, ground ginger, chili powder and salt, this red lentil soup is a dish that guests of all ages will enjoy eating. Substitute yogurt with coconut milk for a dairy free alternative.
Warm French Lentil Salad
Though we love creating fun and flavorful soups with lentils, it is not the only thing we enjoy using them for. Lentils make an excellent addition to any salad, and their subtle flavor makes them easy to combine with all tastes ranging from sweet to spicy. For a delicious lentil salad that will have everyone reaching for seconds, make this Warm French Lentil Salad. Made with a combination of carrots, onion, bay leaf, garlic and Bob's Red Mill® Petite French Green Lentils, it's a dish that's overflowing with nutrition and health benefits.
Inspired by traditional Indian cuisine, this Masoor Dal recipe is one that you'll love adding to your recipe book. Dal, another term for lentils, is often used when referring to a lentil dish that's prepared like a soup or stew. When prepared, the red lentils become infused with flavor as the spices mix with the hot oil. This recipe, in particular, is made with whole cumin seeds, whole mustard seeds, ground turmeric, and smoked paprika to create an off-the-charts delicious dish. Onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and jalepeño add a boost of flavor and texture to make a perfectly balanced lentil dish.
Ready to head to the kitchen and whip up a batch of butternut squash lentil soup? Follow the steps above, to ensure that it turns out better than expected. While the recipe calls for Red Lentils, Brown Lentils and Petite French Green Lentils can be swapped in depending on your personal preferences. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you a healthy and happy day!
Do you have a lentil recipe that you enjoy cooking regularly? We'd love to hear more about how you use this super legume in the kitchen. Share your favorite lentil-based dishes with us in the comments below.