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Simmered together with ginger, curry and a bit of red pepper flakes, the husk on the red lentils disintegrates and the butternut squash softens into a naturally thickened richly flavored soup. You can have this soup on the table and ready to eat in less than an hour.
There are many varieties of lentils – brown, green, French, Beluga, red and yellow. Most grocery stores carry the brown or green lentils in a plastic package. You will find the red lentils (and the French, Beluga and yellow) in the bulk section of many grocery stores.
The soup is delicious on its own but for those who are inclined to add a spoonful of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro they are nice additions.
Makes 5 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons chopped or sliced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 cups water, vegetable or chicken broth
6 cups peeled, seeded and chopped butternut squash (about one medium size)
2 cups red lentils
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro
Cook onions in oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and cook and stir to soften, about 1 minute.
Stir in curry powder and red pepper flakes. Add water, squash, lentils, tomatoes and salt; stir well and bring to a simmer; cook until squash is softened and lentils are soft and falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.