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Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup with Chard

At first glance, the name of this recipe sounded a little odd to me but since I have lots of red lentils (that I bought very inexpensively, by the way) I decided to try it. One of my goals this year is to try more vegan recipes from the cookbook, 1000 Vegan Recipes, that I was given for Christmas.

What a wonderful surprise this soup turned out to be! It was delicious. I had my doubts in the beginning because when I added the can of crushed tomatoes the soup looked red and tasted too much like tomatoes. But the longer it cooked, the more the sweet butternut flavors came through.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can unsalted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups finely chopped stemmed red Swiss chard
Directions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, squash and garlic then cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the ginger and curry powder.
  4. Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, water, and the salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Stir occasionally.
  7. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the chard.
  8. Adjust the seasonings if necessary and then serve.

I made the following changes to this recipe to suit my family’s taste:

  • First, instead of chopping the onion (which means they’d be larger) I diced it since one of my son’s doesn’t like onions. This helps the onion to cook more thoroughly so the soup doesn’t taste too much like onion.
  • Second,I used 2 cloves of garlic instead of one.
  • Third, I used only 1/2 teaspoon curry powder instead of the 1 tablespoon that the original recipe calls for. The original recipe also says you can use hot curry powder but since we don’t like a strong curry flavor I toned it down.
  • Fourth, I used 4 cups of broth and one cup of water instead of 5 cups of broth. In the past, I have found that when I use too much broth the soup tastes more like the broth than anything else. I wanted to make sure that the other flavors were enhanced.

Really and truly, this was a great tasting soup. I served it with a pear, pecan, blue cheese salad and Naan bread. I wasn’t trying to have a vegan meal — just try a new vegan recipe. I hardly noticed that this soup had red lentils in it.

This soup is now on my favorites list. If you try it, please let me know how you like it and what other variations you try.

1,000 Vegan Recipes (1,000 Recipes)

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