Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. Nothing beats a light, sweet, spicy soup that can be made so easily with just a few ingredients. I took things to the next level when making this soup by adding creamy coconut milk and protein rich red lentils. If you want a one-dish meal, look no further. Each bowl of this soup is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and creamy deliciousness!
Recently I have been obsessed with coconut milk. Whipping it for desserts, replacing oil with it in baked goods, and adding it to smoothies for an extra boost of creaminess. I decided it was time to share the goodness in my soup recipes and boy am I glad I did! Velvety is the perfect word to describe the texture of this soup. You can fool even the most hard-core dairy addicts with the creamy flavor coconut milk adds!
I paired red lentils with butternut squash to add protein without changing the flavor profile of the squash. The lentils don’t have a flavor of their own, and when pureed with the squash they are undetectable, but drastically boost the protein content. Another nutritional highlight of this dish is turmeric. Here are five super facts about turmeric:
- Boosts immune system
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties
- Improves digestion
- Maintains ideal body weight
- Natural liver detoxifier
Clearly turmeric is the chia seed of the spice world. While I am not a huge fan of a strong turmeric flavor, the other spices in this soup mellow it out. I also love the bright sunny color it adds to the soup!
With winter in full swing, warm soup is the perfect food. So grab some good crusty bread and make this velvety squash and red lentil soup tonight!
Velvety Squash and Red Lentil Soup
yield: 6 servings
3 cups diced butternut squash (about 2 pounds of squash)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
4-5 cups water
toasted pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)
1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil on medium heat until melted. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes then add the garlic and saute another minute.
2. Add butternut squash, red lentils, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 the salt. Saute for 30 seconds then add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender when poked with a fork.
3. Using an immersion blender (or high speed blender/food processor), puree the soup so it is completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more water in 1/4 cup increments until you reach your desired thickness. Add coconut milk and blend again. Add the rest of the salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Here you can add more of any of the other spices, to taste. I often add more cinnamon and ginger 🙂
4. Serve warm with crusty bread and toasted pumpkin seeds.