Today’s freezing temperatures and blustery wind have me craving more soup. Do you feel it too? This recipe is sure to warm you through and through thanks to the flavours of ginger and Thai curry paired with comforting butternut squash and coconut milk. As a bonus, you’ll get a generous dose of vitamins A and C thanks to the squash, and a hit of protein and iron offered up by the red lentils.
The iron found in plant-based proteins is called non-heme iron and is a bit harder for our bodies to absorb than heme iron (found in meat). However, pairing non-heme iron with Vitamin C increases absorption. See where I’m going? The Vitamin C from the squash will work in tandem with the iron in the lentils to fuel you more efficiently. Another bonus of red lentils are their quick-cooking nature and their tendency to start to disintegrate when cooked. This makes them essentially impossible to detect; a great way to power up the picky people in your lives!
Give it a try today and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 –2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (depending on your spice preference; I used 2!)
1 can coconut milk
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, diced
½ cup red lentils
Heat oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Place 1 piece of diced onion in the pot to test the temperature of the oil. Once the onion starts to sizzle, add the remaining onion.
Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to soften. Then, add the diced bell pepper and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
Once the vegetables have softened, and onion has started to become translucent, add the ginger powder, salt, pepper, and Thai curry paste. Mix to combine.
Next, add the coconut milk. Stir to combine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, gathering up all of those flavourful bits that may have started to stick!
Add the vegetable broth, again stirring to combine.
Finally, add the butternut squash, carrot, and red lentils. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
Once the pot reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
At this point, the butternut squash should be soft, and the lentils should have started to disintegrate.
Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth and glossy.
Top with your favourite roasted winter veggie and serve with a slice of whole wheat bread for a filling and nutritious meal. Enjoy!
Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD