I’m currently having a moment with curry. Maybe I should say I’m curryently. #sorrynotsorry The latest and greatest result of this moment/borderline obsession? A curried red lentil soup with apple and butternut squash.
What? Did I say apple and butternut squash? Are these not the quintessential fall foods? Yes. And I added curry powder to them for this red lentil soup. As I have been known to do, like with this carrot ginger soup. Wait, now that I think about it, this moment has been going on for a while. There’s the past winter dilly dally with fried millet and curry cauliflower, the summer fling turmeric cornbread muffins, and most recently, this curried vegetable galette. At least you know you’ll get your money’s worth if you invest and pick up some curry powder!
Anyway, back to soup.
CURRIED RED LENTIL SOUP WITH APPLE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Soup is an excellent choice for cold weather meals. I’m lucky that my family loves soup. Any kind of soup. Even slightly out of the box soups. This curried red lentil soup might be a new favorite. It consists of three simple parts.
- Well cooked red lentils
- Fresh sweet apples
- Tender roasted butternut squash
Then, add some curry powder and a bit of vegetable broth. Put it all in a blender and bam! You have a delicious soup that’s sweet and savory and a little bit spicy.
As with practically all my recipes, I started with onions and garlic. These ingredients are my one-two punch. Seriously.
While there may be a decent number of dishes that need to be washed by the end of the prep, each ingredient cooks alongside the others. Which cuts down on time. (And isn’t that what dishwashers are for anyway?)
The butternut squash roasts while the lentils cook and you saute onion and garlic. The apples are added in fresh, though you could roast them or cook them with the onions and garlic if you prefer.
I used honeycrisp apples but any sweet apple will do. If you want to use a tart apple like a granny smith, the resulting flavor profile will be a little different. But not bad! I’m a firm believer in using what’s in the fridge or what you have on hand. And I support ingredient swaps with the caveat that it will turn out differently, sometimes even better.
Red lentils tend to lose their shape and often end up mushier than green, black, or brown lentils. Which makes them perfect for a soup like this one! If you’re looking for other creamy soups, check out this vegan vegetable chowder or this creamy potato soup. They’re both dairy free, too!
Curried Red Lentil Soup with apple and butternut squash
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water, divided
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 apples, peeled and sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped cilantro, for serving
- Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 350°F.
Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender.
Combine lentils and 2 cups of broth or water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are cooked.
While lentils are cooking, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over low heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Let cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly caramelized.
Add curry powder to onions and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.
Transfer cooked onions to a high speed blender. Add in apples, cooked butternut squash, and cooked lentils. Add remaining 1 cup of water or broth.
Cover and puree until smooth.
Transfer pureed soup to a large pot and warm over medium-low heat until heated through.
Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro and a spoonful of yogurt (optional).
I love that this soup is naturally thickened with the red lentils. Cooked red lentils are often more tender than brown, green or black lentils which allows them to blend nicely. I like the brightness that the uncooked apple gives the soup. If you’re using a more tart apple, you can cook them with the onions to help bring out their sweetness.
CHECK THE FRIDGE
Add wilted or leftover greens such as swiss chard or kale to the soup after blending. You can also top this soup with savory garam masala granola.