Wednesday, November 9

probably one of the best soups ever

Like a hug. That's what this soup is like, a warm and comforting hug on a cold November night. It's the perfect autumn soup - the rusty orange of the squash with the red lentils are like the colours of the leaves outside, and will brighten up the long chilly winter evenings. Spoonful after spoonful of heaven - thick, velvety, naturally sweet from the squash but with a nuttiness that comes from the lentils as well as a bit of spice from whatever you throw in. You have to make this soup.

You'll need

1 medium sized onion, chopped fairly finely
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1.5 lbs of butternut squash
1 medium potato
1 litre vegetable stock (preferably bouillon powder)
1-2 bay leaves
Olive oil
150-200g red lentils, depending on how thick you want it
A good tsp of cumin
Salt and pepper

Cut your squash into chunks, not too big, not too small. Don't worry about peeling the thing, but remember to remove all the seeds. Peel and cut your potato into similar sized pieces.
Roast the squash and potato in 2-3 tbsps of olive oil on a baking tray at 190 degrees celsius for 30 to 40 minutes. Give them a good toss now and then. When the squash is soft and turning a deep caramel orange, it's ready to come out. Leave the tray to cool.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.
When the squash and potato chunks are cool enough to handle, peel the squash.
Make up a litre of vegetable stock.
Add the squash, potato, lentils, stock, bay leaves and cumin to the saucepan. Season to taste (you won't need much salt) then bring to the boil. Let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potato and lentils are soft and starting to break up a bit.
Turn off the heat and let the soup cool a little. Then transfer to a blender and blend until there's no lumps and the soup has a thick consistency. Don't overblend!
Transfer back to saucepan and reheat. Check the seasoning.
Serve, with a sprinkle of sage on the top if you want, and a hunk of good crusty bread.
Savour the first spoonful, enjoy that warm huggy feeling.

Because I was too busy enjoying it to take any photos, here's a soup-er rushed little illustration:

Delicious! x

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