Thursday, October 11 Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with Chard (1000 Vegan Recipes) Rating: 4

Our friend in San Francisco gave us an organic, heirloom, seedless butternut squash to take home with us. I may or may not have had my backpack searched after said squash went though the x-ray machine at the airport, which may or may not have slowed down the security line for a few minutes. Whatever. Anyway, we had a squash and wanted to use it. I decided on a soup since I could freeze the leftovers and enjoy it for weeks to come. I think a lot of butternut squash soups are too sweet, so I really liked the look of the one in 1000 Vegan Recipes, which had an Indian flare and seemed like it would be less sweet. The flavor is amazing in this soup, but mine came out a bit too thick. I never really know what’s meant my vegetable sizes in recipes and this one called for a medium sized squash. I’ve seen butternuts that were way bigger than this one so I guessed this one was medium-ish. This is where I get into trouble – we’ve all seen the baseball bat sized zucchini some people grow so that’s what I think of when I think “large”, so medium is hard for me to gauge. Anyway, after I had a fistfight with the squash – why the hell are those things so hard to peel and cut up anyway? -  I was on my way to soup land. The recipe is really very simple (if you win the fight with the squash) and most of the time involved is the soup simmering happily on the stove. I’ll add more broth or use a smaller (and less violent) squash next time, but this is definitely a make again recipe. The chard gets added right at the end so it’s just wilted and it adds a nice flavor and some green veggieness to the bowl. Since this was an Indian-inspired soup, we had samosas and naan on the side. We buy Sukhi’s brand frozen samosas, which are super delicious and come with a yummy cilantro dipping sauce. The naan I get at Sevananda and is made at a local bakery (Nazifa’s). It’s plain naan, but I smear it with homemade butter and pressed garlic, then sprinkle a little parsley on it and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to warm it up (any longer and it becomes a cracker). So good.


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