Tuesday, 3 November 2009

My Favorite Soup

I'm not sure that this is my tippy-top favorite soup, but it's easily in the top 5.  I love, love, LOVE this soup!  I'm not totally sure where the recipe is from.  Andrew thinks it's one of Deborah Madison's recipes, but I couldn't find it in the one Deborah Madison cookbook we have.  Andrew's been making this soup for years now and no longer needs to look at the recipe.  Every time I make it, though, I have to ask him to go over it again just to be sure I don't leave anything out.  Even though we started dating in the summer, for some reason this soup sticks in my mind as one of the first things he cooked for me, but I think that has more to do with how much I love the soup than when he actually first made it because I know he wouldn't have made hot soup during an Atlanta summer.  In any case, it's perfect for fall.  And it is . . . butternut squash lentil stew.  This recipe is Andrew's rough version of it, so keep that in mind and feel to tweak it.

Everything you'll need:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 jalapenos
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder or paprika
1 medium butternut squash
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz can)
1 cup lentils
2 cups kale
4 cups chicken stock
Crème fraîche or sour cream
(This makes a pretty big pot of soup.)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced onion, garlic, and jalapenos (seed the jalapenos first).  Gently sweat those together for about 7 minutes.  Add the cumin and chili powder.  Stir and let those cook together for about another minute.  While that's cooking a bit, peel the butternut squash and chop off the bulbous end where the seeds are and compost it (or save it for something else).  Cut the butternut squash into bite size cubes (this requires a pretty good, big knife).  Add 4 cups of chicken stock to the onion mix in the pot (we use Better Than Boullion and really like it).  Add the can of tomatoes.  Add the one cup of rinsed and drained lentils (we usually buy the little green ones).  Stir that up and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  When the lentils are just a bit tender, add the butternut squash cubes.  Cook for about another 20 minutes.  Once the squash is tender, add the chopped kale towards the end and just let it cook for another few minutes.  We like the kale tender but not mushy.  Along the way if you feel like it's too thick, just add more chicken stock or water, depending on the flavor--if it needs more salt, add chicken stock; if it has enough salty flavor, add some water. Add a dollop of crème fraîche, or sour cream, and that's it!  It is sooooo good.  The jalapenos and the chili powder give it a great kick. 


Thrifted Treasure said...

Oh sounds delicious, I'm all hungry now!

The Feathered Nest said...

Yummmm, this sounds wonderful Leigh!!! I'll have to show it to Dennis ~ he loves to cook!! Me...not so much :) but I do, xxoo, Dawn

carrie @ bloomacious said...

this looks really yummy - will have to try making it.

Conn said...

oh this looks great.
our electrician gave us a 17lb squash... we don't know what kind, but he insists it's delicious. a variety from france. thanks... now we know what to do with it.

Amy said...

Sounds delicious - and the photo looks great too!

The Vintage Modern Girl said...

oh goodness- i think i could live off this soup the entire winter! thanks for the recipe! also, i just looked at the photos you've taken of the various little shops and i noticed "Bell'occhio"...i just order some little mercury glass candle holders from there! i'll bet it's an awesome little place to browse! how lucky that you live so close!


That looks as wonderful as I bet it smells!
LIsa & Alfie

susan said so said...

Looks DELISH! thanks for sharing!



littlebyrd said...

I will have to make this - it looks so good! Last night I made my favorite...brocolli cheddar...and it was fabulous :)