Autumn is finally here and although we planned a summer farewell seaside trip at the end of the week, I can’t wait to dive into the fall pleasures! I’m talking pumpkins, cozy hot drinks, afternoon baking and vineyards visits. I also declared open the soup season by making a very easy red lentil and butternut squash cream soup, using the beautiful specimen from the photo below and just a few whole ingredients, picked to add flavor depth.
This recipe is so simple anyone can do it. Don’t believe me? Watch the video proof:
Soups are the simplest way to incorporate seasonal veggies and legumes to your daily diet and provide everything you need for a satiating evening meal.
If you want to make a cream soup, red lentils are the best kind to pick since they cook easily and add creaminess and a nice color to your dish. The creamy texture comes from their soluble fibers, the ones you need for maintaining a healthy digestive system and gut microbiome. The bacteria in your colon ferments the fiber in lentil, and the process by-products feed the colon wall cells, reducing the risk of chronic disease.
The soluble fiber is also a good addition to your diet as it helps your system eliminate the excess cholesterol, toxins and old hormones, preventing their leak back into your blood stream and stick to your cells or your blood vessels.
While eliminating excess cholesterol is a great property lentils have, their high concentrations of magnesium and B vitamins (B6 and folate) also bring a major contribution to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and clean blood vessels.
Magnesium relaxes the veins and arteries and improves blood flow and cell oxygenation, while B vitamins prevent the amino-acid homocysteine to become a risk of heart disease (high levels of homocysteine are often associated with low levels of thyroid hormone).
Back to the soup, I always advocate for choosing seasonal and local grown ingredients as often as possible. Don’t get overwhelmed by seeing pumpkins everywhere, get the maximum of their benefits instead by adding them to your daily diet during fall months.
The yellow and orange color of pumpkin and butternut varieties are a sign of carotenoid antioxidant bundle, and their sweet taste (despite a pretty low glycemic index) is a great addition to mostly every dish – from smoothies to stews, soups, casseroles and baked goods.
Precious Omega 3 is also present in significant concentrations in pumpkins, alongside vitamin E and various minerals with anti-inflammatory effects. I like to consider pumpkins as the easiest and cheapest way to build an antioxidant reserve for winter, when local fresh produce is rarely available.
Don’t forget to add more lentils in your diet, for a healthier you! Make sure to check out my red lentil recipes: The Healing Red Lentil Curry with Turmeric and Spinach, My Liver Cleanse Soups, or the Sweet Potato Peanut Stew with Red Lentils, of course 🙂.
- ½ cup red lentils
- 1 cup fresh butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 inch ginger piece, peeled and grated
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 3 cups purified water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To garnish: coconut yogurt, toasted pumpkin seeds
- Heat the coconut oil into a medium soup pot, and add the onion, carrot, ginger, cumin and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add the water, lentils and pumpkin cubes.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 mins.
- Transfer into the blender, add the lemon juice and process to obtain a smooth cream.
- Divide into serving bowls, add yogurt and pumpkin seeds and serve warm.