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BackstoryMy husband, who loves lentil soup, was very taken with this dish. It was sorta like a Thai version of lentil soup. My best friend (who was visiting that night) and I are not huge lentil soup fans; we thought the dish was good but not great. The consistency was more like a stew than a soup. It was definitely a hearty vegetarian dish. At around 300 calories and 15g of fat per serving, it's a very reasonable meal for people being careful of such things, so if you dig lentil soup, check it out.
To serve with it, I toasted 1 whole piece of whole-wheat pita bread with two teaspoons of butter patted on it. The butter melted and left the pita tasting more like Indian flatbread than pita bread; it was great. We cut the pita into thirds to share.
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch ground fenugreek seeds (I'd never heard of these, but there they were in the spice aisle!)
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1 cup butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed (I used left-over, pre-cooked African squash--it's much easier to cube butternut squash after it's cooked)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 c. vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and fenugreek 5 min., or until onion is tender.
- Mix the lentils, squash, and cilantro into the pot. Stir in the broth, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils and squash are tender.