May doesn’t really seem like the time of year for a squash and lentil soup, but I put the heating on for an hour the other day. It’s a lot cooler than it was this time last year – last week, even. And yet the days get unrelentingly longer, and our summer plans get ever closer. This recipe combines the sweet, smoky, summery flavour of roast squash with a warming soup – just perfect for late spring. The weather isn’t conducive to a barbecue (grill)? No matter. Put that squash in a soup instead.
Whilst the cooking time of this squash and lentil soup is on the longer side, most of that is cooking the squash. Slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and sling it in the oven while you do the dishes, eat breakfast, get the kids ready for bed, whatever, and you have the makings of a low effort 30 minute meal. And on such a low heat if you forget about it for a few minutes it will be fine.
Cooking Squash and Lentil Soup
Roasting squash is a favourite technique of mine, as it makes them much easier to peel, you can just slice the skin straight off with an eating knife or spoon. Even better, you can blend it into a soup that even my 2 year old, who can be quite decisive about vegetables, practically licks the bowl clean.
When I’m blending I prefer to leave a small amount of lentils unblended, so it looks like a home made soup rather than something out of a can, but you can blend it smooth if you prefer. Remember to check your blender or food processor instructions- my food processor isn’t designed to be filled to the top with liquids.
I kept the seasoning really simple this time to make a sweet and tasty toddler friendly soup, but if you prefer your vegetable soups with a bit of heat butternut squash responds really well to curry spices.
- 1 butternut squash
- 6 oz red split lentils
- 1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 litre vegetable stock/broth
Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Place it in the oven on gas mark 5 (191 c) for around an hour, or until soft and beginning to blacken round the edges.
Cut the skin off the squash, or scoop the flesh out, whichever is easier for you. Chop it into chunks.
Make up the vegetable stock or broth if necessary and put all ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and cook for around 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Blend the soup. Return it to the pan and bring it back up to the boil. Serve, with a garnish if you wish.