This was good. The texture was weird but it tasted yummy. I didn't have any red lentils so I used some yellow split-peas that I have on the dried bean shelf in the pantry. I probably won't make this again. I didn't puree the peas/lentils because they get mushy anyway so there isn't really a reason to do so.
Autumn Harvest Red Lentil Soup
Healthy Hedonist via CLBB (gaja)
1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into small dice (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 pound butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
1 parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed, washed, and torn into bite-size pieces or one 5-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed
Combine the lentils, 4 cups of the water, the bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Discard the bay leaf, and purée the lentils with an immersion blender or in a standing blender. (If you want a little texture, you can simply whisk the lentils until creamy.) Set the lentils aside.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the squash, parsnips, carrots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir the lemon juice and spinach into the lentils. The heat will immediately wilt the spinach. Add the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Season with a generous pinch of cayenne. Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings