Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
Adapted from "The Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread Cookbook" by the indomitable Crescent Dragonwagon (not her birth name, obviously). I use a sweet potato instead of the butternut, as I am more likely to have those on hand and they are easier to peel and to scale down for fewer servings. I also use homemade chicken stock in lieu of veggie stock, as my freezer is always loaded with it, but you would get good results even with plain water. Use chard in place of spinach, if you like. Serve as an entree with a Greek salad and some good bread. NOTE: when I first made this, I weighed out a pound of mixed colors of lentils, in an effort to use some up. It came out VERY thick, like porridge, so I had to add extra liquid. For that reason, I recommend using less than the pound of lentils called for; somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 pound should work well.
- 1 lb lentils, washed and picked over
- 10 cups vegetable stock
- 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoons white coriander seeds
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 small potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 10 ounces fresh spinach, well washed, stems removed and chopped
- 2 1⁄2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, with leaves, sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
- paper-thin slices lemon, for garnish
- In a large, heavy soup pot, combine cleaned lentils, stock (or water), chili, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, basil, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to very low and let simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes.
- Add potatoes and spinach, cover again and let simmer another 15 minutes. Add the butternut squash. Cover again and let simmer while you do the next step.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and sauté until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and sauté another 3 minutes, stirring often. Add this mixture to the soup; deglaze the skillet with a little soup and add the pan contents to the pot. Add salt, taste for seasoning.
- Just before serving, add the lemon juice, stir well and taste again for seasoning. Serve hot with a lemon slice floating on top of each bowl of soup.