tablespoons olive oil or ¼ cup water (for water saute)
medium yellow onion, diced
large butternut squash, cubed (about 8 cups)
cups red lentils
teaspoons dried sage or 2 tablespoons fresh minced
cups vegetable broth or water
himalayan salt & white or fresh cracked pepper, to taste
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil/water over medium high heat, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add squash and cook a few minutes stirring occasionally. Add lentils, sage, broth and salt & pepper, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until squash is fork tender. Once ready and slightly cooled, puree soup using your preferred method. Use an immersion blender and puree soup right in the pot until desired consistency. Or you can puree in your blender or food processor, this method may take two or three batches to complete. Add extra liquids as needed for desired thickness. Serve topped with pine nuts and chopped sage if you like, fresh cracked pepper would also be great. Serves 4 - 6. Notes: I used half water, half broth for this recipe. I use Better Than Bouillon paste, about 1 heaping teaspoon with 3 1/2 cups water. I find that's plenty of flavor and my soup was great. If not using vegetable broth, I might suggest adding a half teaspoon or so of garlic powder, onion powder and maybe a smidge of coriander to bring some extra flavors to the soup. Keep in mind the smaller you chop your butternut squash, the quicker it will cook. Try to keep them around 3/4" or smaller. Add in chopped carrots, about 2 large, if you like. You may just as well enjoy this soup without blending. Or you may like to use a potato masher instead, this will add some creaminess while still leaving some chunkiness. Only red lentils will work with this recipe. For one, the color would be altered making it look muddied. Secondly, other lentils take longer longer to cook. If you can't find red lentils at your local grocery store, try ordering them online. Try using this as a pasta sauce or serve with a serving of rice. This can be made a day or two ahead and reheated when ready to serve.