This week's soup is the prefect example of how to create a great tasting, healthy soup in no time at all. I LOVE coconut and curry together! If you haven't tried any dishes with this combo yet, you really must!
Who doesn't love to sit down to a hot bowl of soup in the winter? It's like a cozy blanket and can be such a great way to get those healing nutrients we need during flu season. Want to make a healthy, killer tasting soup? Follow some of the tips I use when cooking up soup in my kitchen...
- Pick your favorite vegetable and go from there. Just about any vegetable can be made into a healthy and delicious soup. Think cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, squash, pea, potato! The sky is the limit!
- Think about ways to add in healthy plant-based proteins. Lentils and beans are great iron-rich sources of protein that you can add to just about any type of soup.
- Keep it lower in sodium. Soups are notorious for being high in sodium (even homemade soups). Use good quality low sodium broths to help cut back a little (and I say a little because even low sodium broths contain about 400mg of sodium per cup). Substituting water for broth is another way to keep sodium levels way down.
- Spice it up! Using flavorful spices like chili, cumin, turmeric and ginger are not only great ways to add flavor but they contain great immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for our bodies, especially in the winter.
- Load up on healthy toppings. Coconut milk, yogurt, avocado, nuts and seeds are healthy additions that add amazing flavor and healthy fatty acids to your soup. Herbs are great for adding flavor without the salt.
For this recipe, I sauté the onions, carrots and butternut squash (my fave!) in a red curry paste. Red curry can be a bit spicy. But, you can totally add as much or little of it as you like, thereby adjusting the spiciness. Coconut milk is added in at the end of cooking to produce this glorious creamy texture that works so well with the spices.
I love lentils. But, RED lentils in soup I'm really crazy about! YUM! I find them to be a bit sweeter and I love how they soften up and become one with this soup, adding a boost of protein and making it rich and satisfying. I puree the soup with my immersion blender (an absolute necessity in my kitchen but you can use a regular blender as well, it's just a lot more messy). To top it off, I add some crushed nuts and a drizzle of coconut milk. Healthy and delicious!
Let me know what soups you're making this winter! Leave a comment on the blog and share what you've got cooking!
Coconut Curried Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
- 1 medium sized butternut squash about 4 cups cubed
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 2 tsp. red curry paste
- 4-6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 6 oz full fat coconut milk + more for drizzling
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon numeric
- 2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- coarse salt
- optional toppings: basil chopped cashews, peanuts, chopped scallions, squirt of fresh lime juice
- In a soup pot, heat oil on medium heat.
- Add in onions and saute for 3 min until they begin to soften.
- Add in curry paste, garlic and spices and saute for a min
- Add in the butternut squash and a good pinch of salt and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes and lentils.
- Pour in enough broth to cover the vegetables.
- Bring the soup to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk.
- Carefully puree the soup in a blender (working in small batches) or use an immersion blender.
- Spoon into bowl and drizzle with coconut milk.
- Add toppings if desired.