So, now that I’ve regained my composure, and am no longer in a blinding rage due to the original post for this recipe evaporating into cyberspace…let’s talk soup.
Soup and I have been on rocky ground as of late. I used to whip fantastic-tasting soups out of nowhere. In retrospect, I certainly took those strokes of culinary luck for granted, until I produced 3 batches of duds. My ego was beaten down and not until now have I been ready to open my heart up to another bowl of warm, wintery lunchtime love.
Soups are hugely convenient for me, as I work close enough to my house to walk home for lunch. I can just pull a serving out of the fridge and heat it up in no time flat, that gives me ample time to watch The View….err….I mean, plan my afternoon’s work at the office. Riiiiiiiigghht.
Since my confidence in winging soup recipes out of nowhere was at an all-time low, I decided to consult my new favourite cookbook for guidance. It’s one that I compiled as a fundraiser for the Banook Canoe Club, where I’m a member and fundraising chair. If I do say so myself, it’s awesome. So many people from the community pitched in; it has an awesome selection of recipes, with over 200 in total.
From the ‘Soups and Sides’ section, one in particular caught my eye. It was a submission from my friend/owner of Core Essentials Fitness Studio, Laurissa Manning. She and I spend a good portion of her classes chatting (in between gasps and grunted profanities) about restaurants, recipes, and products that we love or would like to try. She’s super knowledgable about nutrition and fitness; her contributions to the book are clean, and easy to make. Just the kind of recipe I needed to restore my faith in the power of a good soup.
The ingredients are pretty simple, but one in particular, the garam marsala spice, really sets this ahead of the pack. I’ve never used garam marsala before, so I picked some up a the Bulk Barn (many grocers likely carry it too, if not in the spice aisle check ethnic/indian section). It’s a warm spice, with a hint of cinnamon and cumin, and would do wonders for a curry or even sprinkled atop roasted sweet potatoes. It’s gonna get a lot of love in my kitchen!
The raita is optional, but adds a nice little contrast in flavours. Raita is similar to tzatziki, and is made simply of a yogurt base with diced cucumber and spices. I used mint and cumin. Not sure how authentic that is but it was friggin tasty. The cool, fresh flavour balanced nicely with the mellow earthiness of the soup.
Nutritionally, this soup is the bomb. Lentils are a great source of belly filling fibre and protein, and iron, which ladies, we can always use more of. Butternut squash has got loads of Vitamin A and C, as well as a nice little dose of fibre too. With only a tbsp of (healthy!) coconut oil, this soup has a negligible fat per serving and if made with low-sodium broth, will put store-bought soup brands to shame. Spend a little time making it this weekend and you’ll be SOUPER happy you did!
1 tbsp coconut oil (olive or other vegetable oil will do)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp garam marsala
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder (optional, omit for a mild soup)
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried lentils (or about 3 cups canned)
Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions, and spices. Heat until onions are soft and fragrant. Add broth, lentils, and squash. Bring the soup to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, or until squash and lentils are soft. Once everything’s cooked through, remove from heat and let it cool a bit before pureeing, in batches, in a blender or food processor. I think it could be great without blending too, I’d love to hear some feedback if anyone tries it chunky!
Calories from Fat 37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.1g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 42.0g 14%
Dietary Fiber 14.9g 60%
Vitamin A 298% • Vitamin C 55%
Calcium 10% • Iron 24%