Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup with Red Lentils

It's a welcome day off and, though I have been up since 6, I have spent the morning in PJs doing things around the house and chatting - to family, to friends on the phone, to the dog - and often to myself!  Over a breakfast chat, the daughter requested soup for supper tonight, so I waved her off at 7 and rummaged through the kitchen cupboards for inspiration.   I happened upon a butternut squash bought for £1 and then forgotten.  I chopped a bit and stirred a bit - and the result was so delicious I had 2 bowls for breakfast and the daughter may be getting sausages for tea instead...

Here is the recipe.  I hope you like it :)

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup with Red Lentils

Boil the kettle.  Make a cup of tea, and keep the rest of the hot water to add to the soup.  Drink the tea whilst pottering in your kitchen (listening to Radio 4 is optional but recommended).

Melt 1-2 tbsp butter (or dairy-free margerine) in a heavy casserole or saucepan.  Add:
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (I don't bother to peel them)
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 peeled and diced butternut squash, seeds and stringy bits removed
Saute over a medium heat until soft and just beginning to caramelise on the bottom of the pan.  Add 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste from a jar (or chop some fresh root ginger and garlic) and 1 tbsp curry powder (I used Madras).  Stir through the veg and cook for a further few minutes.  Add 2 handfuls of red lentils and again, cook for a further few minutes.

Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme (I tie the ends with a rubber band to make it easier to remove the stalks later), salt and pepper.

Pour over enough water to cover the veg generously.  Add a couple of veggie or chicken stock cubes, crushed, or 1 tbsp of gluten&dairy free stock powder (I used Marigold).  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1/2 hour or until everything is soft.  Blitz (or leave chunky if you like) and heat through before serving.

Chef's recommendation: Eat 2 bowls for breakfast and try to keep the rest for supper - or serve them something else and pretend the soup never existed.

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