When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Butternut squash and red lentil soup (dairy-free)

Chilly fall weather that results in red noses and frosty fingertips calls for soup for lunch, plain and simple.  There is nothing nicer after an invigorating walk among the beautiful colours and crisp, cool air than coming home to a warm home and a steaming bowl of something fragrant and delicious to eat.  Today's soup recipe is one I make often in the fall and winter seasons because I enjoy it so much.  It is loaded with nutritious orange vegetables and nicely flavoured with ginger and cinnamon, and the addition of some red lentils gives the soup a healthy boost of protein.

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 L vegetable stock (I use Imagine brand low-sodium organic vegetable broth, which is gluten-free)
1 cup water
sea salt, to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger, and cinnamon and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is soft.
Add the squash, carrots, apple, lentils, vegetable stock and water to the pot and turn the heat up to high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat. Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until it is smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you could transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree it that way.)
Season the soup with sea salt to your liking, and serve it hot.  Leftover portions freeze really well in glass Mason jars!

This soup is quite simple to make, but the results are really impressive.  A bowl full of this smooth, golden liquid is a wonderful way to both fill up your belly and warm up your body (and those of the ones you love)!

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