It’s squash season again and alongside just eating big wedges of roast squash soup is my favourite way to use them up. I still roast them to get that lovely herby and roast garlic flavour and roasting them with their skins on makes it easy to scoop out the soft flesh into the soup keeping prep time to a minimum. White lentils are a new store cupboard staple of mine too, a bit pearl barleyish when cooked they give the soup a nice thick and creamy consistency. Make a big pot and enjoy it for dinner with crusty bread and some good cheese then chuck the rest into a tupperware and take it to work for lunch the next day, I do. (Recipe below)
White lentil and roast squash soup
Makes 4 big bowls
Large roasting tin and large pan
100g white lentils
3 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried bay leaves
500g squash, I used Australian Blue but it would also work well with Butternut, Kuri, Onion squash or Pumpkin
4 cloves of garlic
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
1 litre of chicken stock (or vegetable if you prefer)
Firstly wash the lentils in several changes of fresh water giving them a good rinse each time. Place them in a pan with a litre of fresh water and the bay leaves, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked. Strain and set aside the lentils and also keep the bay leaves.
In the meantime cut the squash into evenly sized wedges and remove the seeds and stringy bits from inside, an ice cream scoop is perfect for this job! Place in a large baking dish and scatter the rosemary and thyme, whole cloves of garlic and a good glug of olive oil. Mix it all up well to ensure the wedges all have a coating of oil, season and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Once cooked scoop out the flesh into a bowl discarding the skins and squeeze out the roast garlic from each clove into the bowl too.
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and place in a large pan with a little olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the cooked lentils, bay leaves, roast squash and garlic and stock before bringing to the boil then turning down to a simmer. Cook for a further 10 minutes before removing from the heat and removing the bay leaves. Once cooled a little use a hand blender to blend to a smooth soup, add a little more water if the consistency is too thick.
The cooked and cooled soup will keep in the fridge for several days.