Butternut squash and lentil soup

In the Front Range of Colorado, the months of February and March are some of our coldest. This soup, with its smoked paprika and roasted squash, is a perfect weeknight meal to warm up your entire family. I like to make it on Sunday evening so that, after a workday, I just have to warm it on the stove. It tastes rich and satisfying, yet still manages to be healthy and nourishing. My 8-year-old daughter, who hates lentils and butternut squash, always asks for seconds! I usually pair it with a simple kale salad and, if we’ve had a particularly active day, some whole grain bread for dipping.

It’s gluten-free, vegetarian (or vegan, if you don’t use the Greek yogurt! Cashew cream would make a nice vegan substitution). If you like things a little spicy, some chili oil drizzled on top gives it some kick. This recipe is adapted from a Saveur red lentil and squash soup recipe.

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 smaller butternut squash, about a pound
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil (and a little extra, to drizzle)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups low sodium veggie stock
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (and a little extra for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pepper and salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 420 F. 2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  2. Place on roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and roast at 420 until soft and brown on edges. This usually takes about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop out roasted squash and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. This should take 12 to 14 minutes.
  5. Stir in cumin, squash, salt, and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add stock and lentils. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, slightly covered, until lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. When soup has cooled slightly, puree until smooth.
  8. Stir paprika and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into yogurt to make sauce.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with parsley and a sprinkle of paprika. Add a generous dollop of yogurt sauce and swirl in.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 289
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 203 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 42 g
  • Dietary fiber: 15 g
  • Total sugars: 9 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Contributor

Amanda Bloom, RN