Spicy butternut squash and lentil soup

What I love about a butternut squash is that it lasts for ages. You can pick one up and chuck it in the cupboard, safe in the knowledge that you can whip it out weeks later to transform into a tasty soup, a veggie lasagne, a healthy risotto or a kid-friendly curry. It is a really versatile veggie and kids do seem to like it. It’s sweetness and its softness make it a great choice for weaning babies when it’s cut into manageable chunks or wedges.

This soup doesn’t sound that amazing, I know that. I accept that when you read the title of this post it probably didn’t set your world alight. And I’m OK with that knowledge. But seriously, it is so, so delicious! The spice from the chilli flakes really counteracts the very sweet squash (just leave out of the recipe and sprinkle on top if making for kids) and the lentils give it an earthiness and make it satisfying too; it’ll keep you full for ages. It freezes really well so make a double batch and store some for a later date.

I made it quickly yesterday morning as a healthy lunch on a very busy day. We are at the farm a lot at the moment (even me – been there for past 3 days!), clearing rubble, putting down sealants – oh just doing endless stuff to get in. We’re getting close-ish – and it is exciting, but so exhausting too. It’s tricky to find the time to cook but we must keep our strength up with decent meals. (Though we are also giving in to the odd takeaway or jacket potato and beans type tea, I have to admit).

This soup I made in my adored Instant Pot pressure cooker. So it was super quick. But of course you can make it in your normal pan. It’ll just take a wee bit longer.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: Pressure cooker – 4 minutes (plus 10 minutes to come to pressure) / Normal – about 20 minutes
Total time: Pressure cooker – 16 minutes / Normal – 22 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 small squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly crushed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons of garam masala (or a good curry powder or paste)
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, plus extra for serving
200g dried red lentils
600ml vegetable stock
2 large fresh tomatoes, diced (or 2 tablespoons of tomato puree if you have no fresh tomatoes)
To serve:
Yoghurt
Fresh coriander

Pressure cooker instructions:  

  1. Add the onion and garlic to some heated oil and soften for a few minutes.
  2. Tip in the garam masala and chilli flakes (if not cooking for kids).
  3. Now for the cubed squash and lentils.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil.
  5. Steam on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  6. Fast release and puree for a smooth soup. Season well if using a homemade stock – commercial stocks are already salty so taste first before you add salt.

Normal instructions:  
  1. Add the onion and garlic to some heated oil and soften for a few minutes.
  2. Tip in the garam masala and chilli flakes (if not cooking for kids).
  3. Now for the cubed squash and lentils.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the squash is soft and the lentils are cooked. 
  6. Puree for a smooth soup. Season well if using a homemade stock – commercial stocks are already salty so taste first before you add salt.
>> Check out all my butternut squash recipes!
Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *