Butternut and Red Lentil Soup
This golden-hued soup is colored by squash, cumin, and fragrant garam masala powder.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups water
1 cup red lentils
2 cups diced peeled butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder, cumin, garam masala and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute over low heat.
- Add water and lentils and bring to a simmer. Stir in squash and cook over medium-low heat until lentils and squash are tender, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in parsley and salt; cook for 5 minutes more. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm roti or naan (Indian flat breads).
Makes 4 servings.
Note: Garam is the Indian word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted, ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of "warmth" to both palate and spirit. It can include pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, mace, nutmeg and other spices. Garam masala may be purchased in Indian markets and in the gourmet section of some supermarkets. It's also easily prepared at home, but should be made in small batches to retain its freshness.