Monday, January 19, 2009

Perfect for a Cold Winter's Night

Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

I thought I'd share one of our favorite crockpot soups since the weather right now pretty much demands a warm, hearty, soul satisfying soup such as this one. It's pretty work intensive in the beginning, at least compared to other crockpot favorites perhaps, -- lots of chopping etc-- but the pay off - a home smelling so scrumptious all day- is certainly worth it, in my opinion.
Auora, always at my side in the kitchen, did lots of 'helping', including peeling the carrots and pouring everything into the crock. She was very interessted in the butternut squash, kept calling it melon and trying to eat pieces. The ingredients, as you can see, lend themselves nicely to a discussion about color. Perhaps with an older child, you could note that the colors are also that of the Irish flag, and then dig out the encyclopedia (or hop on google, lol) for a lesson on national flags. The garam masala called for in the recipe lends lots of flavor with out a lot of heat- just right for the little ones in the family.

So, now the recipe:
1 Cup dry lentils
2.5 Cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch dice
1/2 Cup chopped onion
1/2 Cup chopped carrot
1/2 Cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced, as preference
1 tsp (we use 1.5 to 2 tsp) Garam Masala
4 Cups Chicken broth

1. Rinse and drain lentils. In Crockpot combine first 5 ingredients. Sprinkle garilc and garam masala over. Pour broth over all.
2. Cover and Cook (crockpot) on Low 8-9 hours, or High 4-4.5 hours.

By the way, the bread pictured is Tassajara yeasted bread from the Tassajara bread book. Our first attempt. It wasn't bad, but I think I'll add a bit more salt and a tad bit more sweetner next time around. It does taste good toasted with nutella though ;) 100% whole wheat bread makes nutella a healthy snack, right?


Grandmommy said...

You bet! The protein in whole wheat plus the protein in nuts makes a "combined" protein equal to that in meat. Yea!

Grandmommy said...

And I am going to try your soup recipe this weekend!