It’s Soup Season!
Hello! Is it cold where you live this time of year? If yes, are you keeping warm this winter? It’s been going back and forth here in Oregon between freezing and unseasonably warm. The mornings this weekend found the grass and streets covered in ice. But yesterday got up to 60°F! On the icy days as well as the rainy dark days (which we have plenty of here) I love to cozy up with a warm bowl of nourishing soup. That’s why I’m nominating January and February as honorary soup season. 😝 Sweets have lost their luster a bit after the holidays. And please don’t come at me with anything Valentine’s-related yet. It’s just too soon. If you need me, I’ll be snuggled in a blanket, slurping up this delicious butternut squash carrot lentil soup.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Carrot Lentil Soup
This soup is simple and wholesome. I love red lentils because they break down as they cook into a thick, creamy source of plant-based protein. Butternut squash, carrots, garlic and thyme provide both flavor and health benefits during this cold and flu season. The butternut squash and carrots get roasted in the oven, which allows them to soften and develop a rich caramelized flavor. You can either use a blender or an immersion blender to pulverize the ingredients into a creamy soup. I left mine with a few chunks of carrots here and there. 🥕
I love to dollop homemade cashew cream on top of my soup bowls, for extra protein and a tangy contrast to this sweet and savory soup. And fresh thyme compliments everything with a light and floral aroma. Basically, I think you are going to love this soup if you get a chance to make it.
Hungry for More Soup?
Check out these other cozy soup recipes to make this Winter!
– Simple Vegan Chickpea Stew
– Ghanaian Groundnut Stew
– Golden Beet Borscht
– Pumpkin Soup with Tempeh “Bacon”
– Slow-Cooker Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
– Loaded Mock Potato Soup
– Lentil Soup with Miso
– Beef Chili Soup
Butternut Squash, Carrot and Lentil Soup
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fine sea salt, divided
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (optional)
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional; it adds a cheesy flavor)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash skin-side-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat and spread out the baby carrots next to the squash. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of thyme leaves, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper on top. Rub the oil and seasonings into the vegetables, then flip over the squash so it's skin-side up. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
- While the squash and carrots are roasting, heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the diced onion with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and sauté for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant.
- While the onions are sautéing and the squash and carrots are roasting, prepare the cashew cream.Pour boiling water over the cashews in a bowl to completely cover them. Allow them to sit for 30 minutes to soften, then drain the water from the cashews. Blend the drained cashews with the rest of the cashew cream ingredients listed above in a blender or food processor.Add one tablespoon of water at a time and continue to blend until it is a thick, creamy mixture. I usually add 6 tablespoons of water total.
- Add the red lentils and water to the sautéed onions and bring to a boil on high heat.Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Scoop the roasted squash out of its flesh and into the pot. Add the roasted carrots, broth, turmeric powder and ½ cup cashew cream. Use an immersion blender to pulverize everything into a creamy soup. Or ladle the ingredients in batches into a blender. If using a blender, let the ingredients cool or be very careful when removing the blender's lid. Hot ingredients in a blender can build up pressure and cause the soup to burst out when the blender top is removed.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with additional fresh thyme leaves, a small squeeze of lemon juice, and ¼ cup cashew creamed thinned with a tablespoon of water or milk. You can also top your soup with roasted seeds or croutons for an added crunch. Enjoy!