In January, when the sidewalks elsewhere are covered with ice, I'll gloat about the 70 degree weather here, but for now, I'm just wishing for a little bit of fall. It's been unseasonably warm, even for Florida, with 90+ temperatures during the day, afternoon thunderstorms, and humidity so thick that you could slice it with a butter knife. I tried a pumpkin spice latte at Starbuck's last week, which seemed pretty much like a cruel joke.
Nevertheless, I'm still up for some fall cooking. And I tried this recipe for butternut squash and red lentil soup, which is so amazing you must run out and make it RIGHT NOW. I altered it to use the spices I had on hand, but I had a big bag of red lentils, so all I needed was to run out and buy one of those seasonal vegetables. Red lentils are my favorite - they taste nothing like brown lentils, cook up quickly, are light and low-fat, but have tons of good stuff in them: fiber, folate, magnesium, and iron, to name a few. And combined with the very slight sweetness of butternut squash, they make an amazing combination: filling but not heavy.
Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 cup red lentils
1 quart (4 cups) water
2 Rapunzel vegetarian boullion cubes (You could also use broth in the last step)
1 onion, chopped
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes (Mine had basil & garlic in them, you could also kick it up a notch and use Rotel)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried coriander
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne
Saute onions in a large saucepan coated with the olive oil. Add garlic, cook for another minute. Add squash, diced tomatoes, lentils, water, boullion, and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender.
Blend half of it, then put it back in the pot. I use an immersion blender to keep some of the consistency. Welcome to fall...