This is one of those recipes that people don’t believe takes such little time. The depth of flavor that develops in such a short amount of time is still astonishing to me. The silky butternut squash and the bite of texture that the lentils give, combined with the warmth of the spice mix, create the most perfect bowl of comfort for those cold fall or winter nights. Though I’ll admit, my family eats soups all through the hot Sharon summer months as well. The spice level here is not “spicy” just flavorful, but if you’re into spicy, there is definitely room to add that in.
Let’s talk lentils. I use tvuot red lentils because red lentils are the fastest cooking lentils. But you can for sure experiment with green or black lentils; you’ll just have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. In general, I find tvuot to be a great brand for all my grain and legume needs. They have a wide variety of organic, non-genetically modified grains. The mass selection keeps my family’s diet diverse and nutrient dense. Their products are sold in almost every health food store I’ve come across in Israel.
This recipe uses coconut milk to cream together all the flavors. Doesn’t really matter which brand you choose here, just wouldn’t suggest skippering on fat content here. I always tell my clients not to be afraid of a little fat. One canful in an entire pot of soup really won’t make much of a difference on your waistline, but it will make a huge difference in the taste department. A creamier consistency makes such a huge difference in the final product. I like Shufersal’s green coconut cream because its often on sale, but also find NutraZen to be on sale quite often, and side note, NutraZen is the best Isupplier I’ve found for all your coconut needs. I like this one (but both the 22% and 17% will work).
The other perk of this recipe is although it uses few ingredients, it is still packed with a tremendous amount of plant based proteins, so this makes a wonderful meal for the vegans amongst us, and for those of you looking to incorporate more of a plant based diet. One cup of lentils packs in 18 grams of protein. Often when animal protein is lacking, people face an iron deficit as well, but lentils pack in 1/3 of your daily irons needs. Another win I’d say.
Ok let’s get to the good stuff now.