2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. butter – or use 2 tbsp. more vegetable oil
1 ½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 large carrot, chopped into ½ inch cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 tablespoon mild (or Madras style) curry paste
1 cup red lentils, washed and picked over
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice – optional
In a large heavy soup pot, heat the oil and butter until hot over medium-high heat. Stir in the squash, onion, carrot, and celery. Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are beginning to turn brown and starting to soften. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in curry paste and ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper and cook for another few minutes.
Add lentils and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are very tender – about 45 minutes. Take a spoonful and put a tiny drop of lemon into it – taste and decide if you want to add the lemon.
The 3 Ways:
1. Serve soup as is for a deliciously healthy meal.
2. Serve soup over your favourite rice – try basmati or brown rice.
3. Puree the soup in a blender and serve as a starter or an accompaniment with a sandwich.