Monday, December 19, 2011

putting a gift to good use: making curried lentil soup with butternut squash and kale

We took one of our homemade gifts for a test run last night. All in the interest of recipe development, of course. If you're making it along with us, in addition to the 4 cups of dried lentils and spice packet we included (which was 2 cubes of Rapunzel veg bouillon + 2 bay leaves + 1 tablespoon madras curry + 1 tablespoon of the spice rub we made), you will need:
  • a large pot
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 (or more) of your favorite sausages (chicken, pork, soy, etc..), chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, diced
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, optional
  • Greek yogurt (optional, as a topping)

Over medium heat, saute the onions and carrots in a bit of olive oil.

Add the sausages and butternut squash, and continue sauteing until the onions are translucent.

Add the contents of the spice packet that came along with the gift + 10 cups of water and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils have softened. Then remove the bay leaves...

and add the kale, stirring it in to the soup. Continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes, until the kale is wilted and lentils are fully cooked. Soup will be stew-like consistency. (I make most of my soups this consistency because it's easier for little hands to get it from bowl to mouth!!)

Serve warm, with a dollop of Greek yogurt with counterbalances the heat from the curry powder and white pepper in the spice blend. Because the soup is quite monochromatic, I recommend serving it with a bright green salad.

p.s. The soup is even better on day two, when the flavors have blended. It makes a wonderful vegetarian stew if you leave out the sausage (which is totally optional). It will freeze nicely. Simply add some fresh broth to the soup when you are reheating it. Enjoy!

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