The flavours of this soup only get better as it sits for a day or two. You can use other winter squash such as acorn or buttercup.
1 medium butternut squash, about 5 cups (1.25 L), diced, seeds reserved
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) red or yellow lentils
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala or curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place squash on baking sheet lined with foil and toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until squash becomes tender, stirring halfway.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine lentils, turmeric, and 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lentils begin to break down.
Clean squash seeds of pulp and dry well with a paper towel. Toast seeds along with salt to taste in dry skillet over medium until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cooked squash to the lentils and mash with fork or potato masher.
In large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium. Add cumin seeds and heat for 1 minute. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onion softens and becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala and cook for 1 minute. Add lentil squash pur’ee salt, pepper, and 3 cups (750 mL) water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add more liquid if desired. Stir in lemon juice.
Puree in a blender in batches. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with toasted squash seeds and cilantro.
Each serving contains: 229 calories; 10 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g carbohydrates; 12 g fibre; 8 mg sodium
source: “Load Up on Lentils“, alive #336, October 2010