Velvety Squash and Red Lentil 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
vegan, gluten-free

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)

Directions:

  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.

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