soup6I have been watching this butternut squash in my vegetable basket for a while and I figured it’s time to finally make something out of it. I usually don’t like sweet soups and I think that’s what happens to every soup when you cook it with any squash so my goal was to make a savory soup. I must admit it’s still a little bit on the verge of sweetness but has a lovely kick of spices as well. It’s a very rich soup and I wanted to add some kind of crunchy taste to it so I made eggplant chips. I will be honest with you. Before I made a good batch of chips, I burnt a few… I followed recipes that were asking to put them on parchment paper and put olive oil on them. Eggplants absorb fat so quickly that I figured that the best way would be to spray a cooling rack with vegetable oil and place the eggplant slices on them. This way they got the temperature going through both sides and they were not sinking in oil. If you decide to make them you need to watch them after the first 10 minutes in the oven or they will be either on the gooey side or get too dark and ashy. You can also save yourself this effort and serve the soup with croutons or a slice of toasted bread or baguette.

Serving: 8
Preparation:  15 minutes
Cooking: 1h15min:  45 minutes for roasting squash; 30 minutes for cooking
Calories:  175 for one serving (approx. 2 cups)

1 butternut squash, cut lengthwise
2 medium carrots, cut in quarters
1 ½ tablespoons of canola oil
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of green lentils, rinsed
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
1 cup of fry white wine
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of tomato juice
2 cups of water (or some more depending on how thick you like your soup to be)
¼ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of chili flakes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Pinch of freshly ground pepper to your taste
Sour cream (1 tablespoon for serving)
Eggplant, sliced
Vegetable or canola oil spray

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
Cut the butternut squash lengthwise, remove all the seeds and place it on a baking sheet.  Then peel the carrots, quarter them, and put them on the same baking sheet. Sprinkle the vegetables with canola oil, kosher salt and pepper and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the vegetables for 45 minutes. Shake the baking sheet from time to time to make sure the vegetables won’t stick. Once they are done, don’t turn the oven off if you decide not to make eggplant chips.

Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices. Spray the cooling rack with vegetable or canola oil and put the eggplant slices on them.  Then salt them and transfer them to the oven. Roast them for 20 minutes. Flip the slices half-way through the cooking time.
In the meantime let the squash and carrots cool off.
roasted veggie
Peel  the squash and quarter it. Remove the remaining strings from the seed pot.
Preheat the Dutch oven and put in 1 teaspoon of the canola oil. Add the diced shallot and sear it for about 2 minutes until a little soft. Add the garlic, ginger, chili flakes, cumin and tomato paste and sear it for another 30 seconds until you can smell the fragrance.
Add the lentils, stir them in and add the white wine. Stir all the ingredients together for about 2 minutes until the wine cooks off.
Transfer the squash and carrots to the Dutch oven, add the chicken stock and tomato sauce and bring it to boil. Cook on low to medium heat for 10 more minutes.
Transfer the soup into the food processor and puree it for about 2 minutes until it is all a nice creamy mixture.
Transfer it back to the Dutch oven and simmer.  Add the pinch of cayenne pepper and soy sauce. The mixture will be quite thick so you should add the water at this point and bring it to boil on low heat.

If you are using a hand blender it will take a little bit longer than 2 minutes to get to the creamy texture.
Turn the heat off and the soup is ready to serve. Add pepper and salt for taste.
Add a tablespoon of sour cream straight to your plate and few eggplant chips for an additional crispy texture.


1 Comment

  1. Another great recipe to try!

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