Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with Chard

 I love soup!  Soup everyday would not hurt my feelings.  This book offers up no less than 85 soup recipes, from light broths, to creamy purees, heartier fare, and cold soup selections.  With the markets overflowing with winter squashes right now, I picked up a butternut squash to try the "Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with Chard" (p. 165).  Everything in this recipe looked good to me, beginning with the red lentils which cook down to a thick and creamy consistency; the rich and sweet flavor of butternut squash; fresh greens; and just a touch of curry.  I wasn't disappointed.  This soup was everything I thought it would be.  The ingredients list was not too long, and preparation was a breeze.  Did I mention delicious?  Very!

Keeping with my quest to omit the oil when preparing these recipes, I left out the one tablespoon olive oil listed for sautéing the onion.  Instead, I sautéed the onions in a dry cast iron soup pot until they started to brown, then added a little water to bring up the browning. This was the only adjustment I needed to make to this recipe to maintain my goal of "no oil" and "all whole grain".  Unfortunately, the market where I shopped had no fresh chard available, so I substituted spinach instead.  This worked very well.  I just stirred a bag of baby spinach into the soup once it was done, turned off the heat, and let everything sit for about an hour.

Most soup recipes call for garlic to be added at the beginning of the cooking time, as this one did, but I almost always hold off adding it until the soup is completely cooked.  At that point, I stir the garlic into the finished soup, just after turning off the heat, as this cooks the garlic just enough to take the edge off, but not so much that the flavor becomes lost in the pot.  I followed this procedure for this recipe and also added about ¼ cup chopped cilantro at the same time (my addition).  A great soup!  I'm already looking forward to the leftovers.


  1. Becky! Glad to see you doing this! I also have that book and I am having fun reading your blog! I have a few of her books and after buying Vegan on the Cheap and Vegan Unplugged I wrote to her on her blog and she answered me in 15 minutes! She said just leave the oil out except for the baked goods, but I already know substitutes for those! I like adding the vital wheat gluten to the burger recipes! They come out great!

  2. Thanks Nancy! I'm having fun doing the blog!