Butternut Squash, Coconut, and Lentil Stew

Winter has made it's debut here on the coast. While it is my favorite time of year with the rains and all. We find ourselves having to pack up and head back home. Soup has always played a big part in this annual ritual. I generally google what ingredients I have left and always come up with some great ideas.This particular recipe is from, Aarti Sequerira of the "Food Network". The use of dried coconut here was genius. It gave the soup a different texture that I found very appealing. I did not use all the same ingredients for tempering so for the exact ingredients and amounts,click here.


1 tablespoons canola, divided
1/2 onion (diced)
1 cup red lentils
1/2 butternut squash
1 Roma tomato (diced)
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 to 5 cups water


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

In a heavy soup pot add heat 1 tablespoon oil, add onion, saute until soft. Then add lentils, squash, tomato, coconut, turmeric, cumin and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, simmer then cover about 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until it's the consistency you like, if necessary add more water.

To temper:

In a small saucepan add oil, after oil is hot add mustard seeds.(put lid quickly on top and shake so the hot seeds do not pop out.) When they stop popping add red pepper flakes, garlic and salt. Cook together just a few seconds then add to soup. Adjust seasonings to taste. Enjoy!

P.S. To temper: means to briefly fry spices in hot oil or ghee to release their aroma.


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