Monday, October 26, 2015

Vegan Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash

I've become a big fan of Katie's soups. Yesterday I posted a recipe for Vegan Spiced Cauliflower Soup, which I also found on her blog Produce on Parade.

As we enter soup season, we are also very well into root vegetable season here in Ontario. You can get fresh local beets, squash and other delicious roots to use in your soups right now. How perfect!

The one thing I will change next time is to leave out the sugar. I used 1 teaspoon as opposed to 1 tablespoon recommended in the original recipe, and it was too sweet for my liking. Since changing the way I eat, I have lost my sweet tooth (which is a good thing!). Taste your soup, if you think it needs a little something, start with the 1 teaspoon and see how you like the flavour.

Vegan Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Adapted from Produce on Parade
Makes 6-8  servings

2 medium whole beets, scrubbed
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
½ tablespoon avocado (or olive) oil
1 cup dry red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1 can of coconut milk (any 13-15oz can will do)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

Boil your beets for about ½ an hour or until they are tender. It will depend on the size of your beets. Set them aside to cool, then peel off the skin and dice them. Set aside. Alternately, you can bake the beets, but it will take much longer for them to cook through.

While your beets are boiling, toss your squash in avocado oil and bake in a preheated 425F oven. Toss the squash pieces once or twice to prevent burning on one side. This will take 20 minutes or so depending on the size of your chunks. They should be tender on the inside and golden on the outside. Set aside.

In a large pot, cook the lentils in the broth for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a pan over medium-low heat, fry the onions in coconut oil for about 3 minutes, then, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. You don't want the garlic to burn. Add the spices and cook, stirring and scraping the pan regularly, for another 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown. 

Next, add the onion mixture to the pot with the lentils. Stir in the coconut milk and squash. Let the pot sit on the stove over low heat to keep warm while you peel and dice your beets. Then, add the beets to the pot. You can garnish the soup with fresh herbs if your little heart desires

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