Indian spiced winter squash lentil soup

This flavorful soup is perfect for cold wintry nights. It is hearty enough to be a meal, served with a green salad and crusty whole-wheat bread. Or, in smaller servings, it can be a warm and comforting start to a holiday meal.

Servings: 8 16-ounce bowls

Ingredients

  • 4 cups winter squash (such as delicata, butternut or pumpkin), diced into small cubes, skin on
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup carrot, minced
  • 1 cup celery, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fenugreek leaves*
  • 1 can light coconut milk, divided**
  • 1 cup red split lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water, in 1 to 2 tablespoon increments as needed for sautéing

*Fenugreek leaves, known as Qasuri Methi, can be purchased online or sourced from a spice shop.

**If minimizing saturated fat in your diet, omit light coconut milk and use 1 cup vegetable stock and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coconut extract (can be purchased online) instead.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix diced squash with extra virgin olive oil and garam masala, lay out in even layer on baking tray and toss midway through cooking. Roast for 20 minutes until squash is evenly browned. Remove from oven.
  2. While squash is roasting, prepare the soup. In a large pot, sweat the onion, carrot and celery (mirepoix) on low heat in 2 tablespoons of water until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent. Add more water as needed to prevent pan from scorching. Then add ground spices and fenugreek leaves and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking.
  3. Add vegetable broth and lentils to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Stir often to distribute lentils. Cook for 15 minutes, then mix in roasted squash mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Puree the soup directly in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. Use caution when blending the hot soup. Add 1 cup of light coconut milk (reserve the remaining milk for garnish) and return soup to simmer.
  5. Ladle into bowls, swirl in 1 tablespoon light coconut milk and add a sprinkle of garam masala onto the top of soup as garnish. Serve steaming hot.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 200
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Total carbohydrate: 35 g
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 7 g

Without coconut milk:

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 1.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g