Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

Curry Squash Lentil Soup

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Brrr, can someone turn up the heat please? I’m in Vegas and it has been chilly and rainy for the last few days – I feel very much like I am back home in rainy Vancouver, BC!

Soup is on my mind more lately and since there seems to be abundance of squash at the supermarkets – I asked myself “why not make a soup with it?”

I found this recipe online (link below) but I adjusted it a tad to my liking.

The Verdict of Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

This soup’s broth turned out pretty tasty with just enough curry.  The original recipe called for only water in the base – I think adding in vegetable stock in place of the water made the broth much nicer! I liked how the cilantro oil floated on the top and gave a nice herbal flavour. The quinoa was hearty and filling and a great source of protein. If I was to make this soup again in the future (and I think I may), I would add a little more celery. I think the soup had a little more room for some chunky vegetables like celery and carrot if you like. I also liked the fact that I substituted coconut oil for olive oil – it added a little bit of a Thai flair to the curry broth. My soup tester fella really liked the souo as well and only commented that it needed a little more ginger in the next batch!

I found it interesting that the red lentils sort of dissolved into the soup. I am sure they added to the tasty broth even though I could not distinguish them in my spoonful of goodness!

We ate the soup two days in a row and on the second day, we added some torn up kale – it worked very well in the soup!  I never felt healthier after soup as I did with this one!

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup  Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 2 carrot, chopped small
  • 2 celery rib, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup quinoa

For cilantro oil:

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt
I like to chop the vegetables really nice and small so it presents well in the soup!

 

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup Instructions:

  • Heat coconut oil in a large heavy pot,  on medium saute squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  • Add lentils, broth and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir in lemon juice into soup and season with salt and pepper in the soup.
  • In a separate pot while soup is simmering, boil 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, simmer until fluffy.
  • Ladle soup into bowls, add in a scoop of quinoa and drizzle cilantro oil.
  • Enjoy!

Make cilantro oil: 
Purée cilantro, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender.

Serve soup drizzled with cilantro oil.

Original recipe from here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Squash-and-Red-Lentil-Soup-351416#ixzz2l7gwR653

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Replaced butter and vegetable oil with cocnut oil for soup base and cilantro oil.
  • Changed basmati rice to quinoa as the accompaniment.
  • Replaced half the water with broth – I like always using a vegetable broth for more depth.
  • Added 1 more carrot and celery rib.
  • Added salt to cilantro oil. It tasted too bland without the salt. Salt lifts the flavours very much so!

What I’d Do Next Time to Make it Even Better:

  • Add one more celery rib.
  • Add one more teaspoon of minced ginger.

Soup Mistress Rating for Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (3.5/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Soup Spark is Lit! Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

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The completed Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

Yikes! This is my first blog post since May! Somehow my passion for playing golf and training for my first half marathon ate up all my time over the last few months.  But heck, it’s never too late to start back at er! It is fall here now and somehow my soup spark has been lit again!

Every once in a while when I receive Costco’s bi-monthly magazine I flip through the pages just to read the recipes. For this September/October issue, I found this great looking soup recipe that had quinoa in it.  I have had a bag of quinoa for quiet sometime and been meaning to make a quinoa salad or something, but never looked into any recipes to date. I have not thought of using it in soup.  But soup it is today!

The Verdict of Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa?

The original soup recipe was good, but with some fine-tuning, I transformed it into a splendid soup for myself!  Somehow it seemed a tad bland so I added more pepper and freshly squeezed lime juice, which seemed to have lifted it up quite nice! Also goat yogurt is highly recommended or even give Greek yogurt a try – they both will give the soup a nice creamy taste! Just make sure you swirl it around in your soup before digging in!

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup of fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup goat yogurt

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Cut top of garlic bulb off, place on tin foil enough to cover the whole bulb, sprinkle olive oil, wrap and bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Cool then spoon out garlic.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat.  Cook onion for about 8 minutes, then add in mushrooms and cook for 7 more minutes until mushrooms are softened.
  3. Remove 2 cups of the mushroom/onion mixture and put aside till later.
  4. Add in stock, water, quinoa, roasted garlic, thyme, salt, pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for approx 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
  5. Puree soup with hand blender (or in blender and return back to pot).
  6. Stir in reserved mushroom/onion mixture. Cook gently until evenly heated through and stir in lime juice and spinach.
  7. Ladle into bowls
  8. Garnish with a dollop of goat yogurt and grated parmesan.

Original soup recipe from:  Costco Connection, September/October 2012 edition, reprinted from: Quinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy Great Tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

What I changed from original soup recipe:

  • Used olive oil instead of vegetable oil
  • Doubled the mushrooms and used shitake as well as cremini
  • Used 5 cups of stock versus 4 cups
  • Added lime juice
  • Added goat yogurt
  • Used more pepper

Soup Mistress Rating for Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5)