Winter Squash Masala Soup with Lentils and Apples

Welcome to 2015! I have a feeling that this year is going to be a big one. And so, I decided to kick the year off on the right foot by making a healthy and nutritious meal chockerbock full of tasty goodness.

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I had two lovely winter squashes left from the garden harvest this fall, and since they were both starting to turn a lovely orange hue, I felt it was time to chop them up and use them in a deeeelicious soup. DSCN0877

Here was the last of the buttercup squash. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, buttercup is by far my favourite of all the squash. It’s got a beautiful flavour and it grows so easily here that I just can’t wait to grow more next summer!DSCN0879

The trickiest part of using a buttercup is peeling it before dicing it. I’ve given up on veggie peelers altogether for squash (their skin is much too thick), so I carefully use a very sharp knife. It works like a charm! DSCN0880

I decided to save the seeds, as my mother-in-law is a veggie seeding genius. Last year, I saved seeds from the heritage tomato plants I was given as a gift, and she managed to seed an astonishing 30 plants, and we ended up with a tomato forest in our back yard!DSCN0881

I peeled and cubed the squash, then I threw it all into the crockpot. DSCN0882

Next, it was time to peel and dice Hubbard. Oh yes, this is the same tenacious little Hubbard that that I managed to seed and coax into growing and thriving throughout last summer’s growing season! DSCN0883

I also saved his seeds. How amazing would it be if his epic story lived on for another year?DSCN0884

The squash was just to beautifully tasty looking!DSCN0885

I wrapped both seeds in moist paper towels and popped them into plastic bags for safekeeping. Live on, little seeds, live on!DSCN0887

Next, I chopped up some red peppers and onions. DSCN0889

Then, it was time for the spices. Seasoning salt, garlic powder, cumin and mild masala. It made for quite the delicious soup!DSCN0890

Next, I chopped up one large tart apple, rinsed some red lentils and threw it all in the crockpot with the spices. I made it a day ahead, so that it would be super easy to get things going in the morning. DSCN0895

In the morning, I added the stock, then I left it on low all day long to slow cook and fill our home with intoxicating and flavourful aromas. Then, using an immersion blender, I blended it all into to a tasty pulp. DSCN0897

To make it more soupy, I added a can or coconut milk, however, you could use milk, cream or more stock, depending on the flavour you’re going for. (Justin and I are huge coconut fans, so I opted for the coconut milk.)

DSCN0898It all resulted in a beautiful, creamy and luscious soup, perfect for dinner after my first day at my new job.

Winter Squash Masala Soup with Lentils and Apples

You will need:

1 large winter squash or 2 small winter squashes (could be Hubbard, buttercup, butternut, or acorn)

2 small onions

1 large red bell pepper

1 large tart apple (I used pink lady, but you could use any kind, really)

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

2 cups low-sodium (or no salt added) vegetable stock

2 tsp each seasoning salt, garlic powder, cumin and mild masala seasoning

1 can coconut milk (or 1.5 cups of milk, cream or more stock)

Begin by peeling your squash. Cut in half, remove the seeds (keep for seeding or discard), and chop into chunks. Add to crockpot. Dice onions, pepper and apple and add to crockpot. Rince lentils and also add to the crockpot. Add seasoning and spice and mix thoroughly. If making the day before, pop your crockpot basin, covered, into the fridge overnight. In the morning, add stock and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add coconut milk and adjust seasoning. Enjoy on a cold winter’s evening.

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