The recipe starts by peeling the butternut squash. It’s a tough job, but with this simple trick, you can easily peel and de-seed a butternut squash. Clean butternut squash with a wet towel to remove dirt or grits. Poke holes in the squash.
Microwave on HIGH for 3-4 minutes. Microwaving it will soften the skin and make it easy to peel.
After 3 minutes, carefully remove the squash from the microwave. Allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes. Peel the outer layer. Slice the top and end off.
Cut squash into the half. Using a spoon, remove seeds from the squash. Cut the butternut squash into cubes.
Preheat oven @375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish. Add cubed butternut squash, carrots chopped into cubes, celery, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and black peppercorns to this dish.
Spray olive oil and add sea salt. Mix it well. Make sure garlic is not on top of the vegetables as it burns quickly.
Bake in the preheated oven (375 degrees F) for 30 minutes or until the veggies are fork-tender.
Wash lentils and pressure cook lentils for 1 whistle(5-10 minutes) until soft. Red lentils lose their shape and often end up mushy during pressure cooking. No worries at all. Set it aside.
check on the veggies. When they are fork-tender (meaning when the fork slides through the baked vegetables without any resistance), remove from oven.
Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add baked veggies and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in vegetable stock and season with spices.
Add the cooked lentils to this vegetable mix.
Give it a good mix. Cook veggies for another 5 minutes. This allows the veggies to blend beautifully with cooked lentils and vegetable stock. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Use an immersion blender to blend the veggies+lentil mix until smooth and creamy. Bring it to a boil. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Take it off the flame. Pour in soup bowls. Finally, complete the soup with a drizzle of coconut cream, chopped green onions, and pomegranate seeds. Serve hot!
Is this Butternut Squash lentil soup Freezer-Friendly!
Absolutely! Like my other soups, this soup is also a make-ahead freezer-friendly soup. Store the leftover soup in the freezer-safe jar, and the lentil soup stays well for up to 3 months in the freezer.When you need it again, thaw it over the counter, pair it with a loaf of whole-wheat bread and a quick last-minute meal is ready to devour.Can I make this soup in the Instant pot?You sure can!If you want to make butternut squash and lentil soup in the Instant pot, then follow the recipe till Step 7.1. After that, turn the Instant pot on, Turn the Instant Pot to ‘Saute mode.’ Once it displays ‘hot,’ add oil to the insert.2. Stir in chopped onions. Cook until it’s soft and translucent. Remove bay leaves and peppercorns from the baked vegetables and add the vegetables to the cooking onions. Cook for 3 minutes.3. Pour in vegetable stock and season with spices. Time to add rinsed lentils to the insert. Mix to combine.4. Make sure the squash pieces are submerged in the sauce. Do not stir.5. Turn the Instant Pot off. Close the lid and seal the pot. Press the Manual or pressure cook button and cook the squash curry for 6 minutes on HIGH.6. Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn off the Instant Pot. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. 7. Use an immersion blender to blend the veggies+lentil mix until smooth and creamy. Bring it to a boil. Adjust seasonings to taste.8. Take it off the flame. Pour in soup bowls. Finally, complete the soup with a drizzle of coconut cream, chopped green onions, and pomegranate seeds. Serve hot!
Tips and Variations!
This squash and lentil soup is a versatile and straightforward soup that can be completely customized to your liking. Some handy tips!
Store-cut butternut squash works great too. Even frozen butternut squash will work for this recipe, though baking time may vary.
Feel free to add or subtract veggies as per taste. Other great options include - broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, pumpkin. Possibilities are endless!
Substitute red lentils with the lentils of your choice. Cooking time may vary.
Roasting the veggies adds extra flavor to this soup. Therefore, do not skip this step.
I prefer thick soups, but if you like thinner soups, than feel free to adjust consistency to your liking.
Non-vegans can substitute coconut cream with regular cream.