From chickpeas to black beans to lentils to peas to peanuts to soybeans. Legumes are one of the best foods we can feed our body, but often one of the foods we least the least of. Clients often tell me they don’t feel confident in cooking them, which is a shame because they are one of the simplest proteins to prepare. This Curry Squash Lentil Soup really is quick and delicious and will take you 35 minutes tops.
“Legumes are low glycemic index (GI) and help to stabilize blood glucose levels. They are also a great source of protein, iron and zinc.”
Legumes are one of the best sources of protein in the plant world with 1 cup of lentils containing ~17g of protein. When you compare this to a can of tuna which contains 18g of protein it is easy to see how valuable legumes are in a plant-based diet.
They also get an A+ for sustainability. Legumes have the unique ability to fix nitrogen which could play a big part in decreasing our dependence on commercial fertilisers and thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. This feature also makes the rotation of crops with legumes especially suitable for organic production where the use of chemical fertilisers is forbidden.
This soup is a great way to introduce legumes to kids or legume-skeptics. The red lentils break apart in the soup, leaving no trace except for a thicker more delicious soup with a higher nutrition density.
Quick and Delicious Curry Squash Lentil Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small red chili minced (optional)
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 800 g butternut squash skinned, de-seeded and cut into 1 1/2" cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils dry
- 6 cups vegetable stock organic
- 1 lemon
- natural yogurt optional
Rinse red lentils. This is important to avoid biting into any tiny little pebbles.
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and gently fry until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, chili and all spices and fry until fragrant, usually another 30 seconds.
Add squash and reduce heat. Cover pot and let squash cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once squash has softened add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Next add the red lentils to the soup mix, let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils have completely broken apart. Check to make sure the squash is nice and tender. Add more water or stock if the soup gets too thick.
Now for decision time, do you like your soup chunky or blended? Sometimes I like to mash my soup with a potato blender, and sometimes it is nice to have a blended soup. If you have a hand held stick blender this is usually the easiest to use.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice. This is the secret ingredient. Not only does it make the soup taste great, but it also helps you to absorb the iron from the lentils more efficiently. I also like to eat mine with a dollop of natural yogurt.
Bump up the Protein: Serve it with 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt.
Decrease the Sodium: Make your own vegetable stock with leftover onion skins, leek tops and carrot tips.
Make it Vegan: Omit the yogurt, and use a cashew cream instead.
Amount per one of four servings
Total Fat: 3.7g
Vitamin C: 42mg