Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Tuscan Kale

I attended a charity event this week where chefs displayed their talents and love of the season by using pumpkin in their creations.  As this, every present gourd and its relatives took center stage, in the form of-savory pumpkin bread pudding, butternut squash puree, pumpkin spaetzle, butternut squash soup shots, and pumpkin gnocchi; I couldn’t help but think about how I would honor the beta-carotene rich vegetable for you.    

Determined to do something a little different, I decided to use butternut squash in a supporting role, not as the main character.  This is what I created.

Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Tuscan Kale

1-tablespoon olive oil
1-cup onions, small diced
1-cup leeks, small diced
1-cup fennel, small diced
½-teaspoon salt
1-tablespoon minced garlic
½-teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2-tablespoons chopped thyme heaping
2-cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
3 quarts Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
½ -cup diced tomatoes
1/3-cup Amaranth (optional)
10 ounces butternut squash, medium diced
3 oz Tuscan Kale-chiffonade1

In a 4-quart pot, heat olive oil until just before, smoke point. 
Add onions, leeks, fennel, and salt. 

 Reduce heat; sweat2 vegetables for about 7 minutes until onions appear translucent.
 Add garlic, pepper and thyme.  Cook for 2 minutes more.
Add lentils, chicken broth, bay leaf and tomatoes. 
Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and allow lentils to simmer for 20 -30 minutes. 
When lentils start to become tender, add Amaranth, butternut squash and kale.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes more or until squash becomes tender but not mushy. 

Yield 2.5 quarts

This soup always tastes better the second day.  When ever you choose to enjoy it having it with a crusty piece of bread and a salad makes for a hearty meal.

1 Leafy vegetables that are rolled and cut
2 To cook and item, usually vegetables, in a covered pad in a small amount of fat until it softens and releases moisture

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