Wednesday 10 February 2016

Recipe Box: Kabocha Squash & Red Lentil Soup

redlentilsoup3This soup represents vitality and total nourishment to me, and on my busiest days it’s one I can put in the slow-cooker in the morning and have a glorious lunch ready by noon. I used to undervalue the power of a good soup and would steer away from cooking them whenever I was in the kitchen. Perhaps it was too many bland soup experiences as a kid, or this notion that I could never be satiated by just a bowl of liquid, or that its preparation was too time consuming and complicated. It wasn’t I acquired this clay pot slow cooker and tossed my soup inhibitions out the window, did I start experimenting with some knockout recipes. This flavorful winter soup is inspired by a dear friend of mine, Angela Suchey, and her magical creation we shared one night in the desert in Joshua Tree. It borders being a stew in how rich it is with flavor and texture. With red lentils and winter squash, it provides the right balance of macronutrients with medicinal spices to satisfy any cold weather craving or sick day soup need.

1 small kabocha squash, seeded & cubed
1 small sweet potato, cubed
1 cup split red lentils
½ yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
6-8 cups water
2 tbsp white miso paste

Combine all ingredients, except the miso paste, in a slow cooker. I use this clay pot slow cooker to make my soups and stews. Depending on the setting of your slow cooker, cook for 1-3 hours until tender and well-cooked. Continue adding water as needed for a soupy consistency. When finished, stir in the miso paste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve with chopped cilantro, sprouts or greens of your choice on top.

Note: If cooking this on a stovetop instead, lightly heat the pan with olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger on medium heat 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Combine remaining ingredients, except the miso, and cover to cook for 40-50 minutes. Stir in the miso paste at the end and season with salt & pepper if desired.
Makes 4-6 servings 

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