Hi.

I’m Jackie, a stay at home vegan mommy of one amazing little girl. My daughter, Zoey, is three years old, a huge Disney aficionado and Minnie Mouse super fan. She’s also the most amazing little helper in the kitchen that a mother could ask for, and so she is… my Minnie Chef.

Roasted Acorn Squash and Lentil Soup

Roasted Acorn Squash and Lentil Soup

MMMMM there’s nothing like eating a hearty bowl of soup on a cool fall night.  So, maybe it’s not that cool here, it’s a “cool” 81 degrees and so humid from all the rain we’ve been getting lately, but that won’t stop me from opening up the windows and imagining that the house is being filled with crisp, fall air.  Regardless of the actual temperature, I’m fully in fall mode and to me that means warm, hearty soup as often as possible.  

So I can’t say that I mind that we got to (had to) eat this soup several nights in a row...  Yea my first go around at this soup wound up on the blooper reel.  As you may know by now, it tends to get pretty distracting in my kitchen sometimes.  I’ve got two pretty crazy dogs constantly running around me just waiting for me to drop a piece of food and of course I’ve always got my Minnie Chef by my side.  While I was making the first batch, I was deeply engaged in a debate with my little one about what things are and are not appropriate to draw on—paper good, walls bad (but that’s yet to be agreed upon)—and totally miscounted the amount of water I was adding to the soup—I might have even doubled what I had intended.   Who knows?  So, I ended up with a batch of really thin, watery soup.  Luckily for us, the flavor was on point, so it made a great base to add some rice and other roasted veggies to. 

So the next night I went for round 2 and it was everything I had originally hoped it would be—a savory and slightly sweet, thick and hearty pureed soup.  The slightly sweet flavors of the coconut oil and acorn squash balanced so well with the mildly rich and savory lentils and added the perfect fall element to the soup.  I’ll definitely be making this soup many more times this season and I can’t wait!  I highly recommend serving this soup with some homemade spicy croutons or spicy toasted acorn squash seeds.  

The lentils I used in this recipe were a blend of red, green and black lentils that I got from Costco, but you can use whatever type of lentils you prefer. 

The lentils I used in this recipe were a blend of red, green and black lentils that I got from Costco, but you can use whatever type of lentils you prefer. 

Servings Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
8 10 mins. 30 mins. 40 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks
  • A bundle of sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves 
I used carrots, celery and sage to flavor the broth in this recipe, but didn't want to blend them up with everything else and make them a dominant flavor in this soup.  Tying everything together in a bundle with kitchen twine makes it so much easier to remove everything when the soup is done cooking. 

I used carrots, celery and sage to flavor the broth in this recipe, but didn't want to blend them up with everything else and make them a dominant flavor in this soup.  Tying everything together in a bundle with kitchen twine makes it so much easier to remove everything when the soup is done cooking. 

This gorgeous roasted acorn squash was just bursting with color and flavor.  This is why I love fall so much! 

This gorgeous roasted acorn squash was just bursting with color and flavor.  This is why I love fall so much! 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut Acorn Squash in half and remove seeds (setting them aside for later use).  Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil on each half of the acorn squash and season lightly with ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper.  Arrange the acorn squash halves on a baking sheet, flesh side down, and roast for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.  Once it’s cooked, set it aside to cool while the lentils finish cooking.   
  2.  While the acorn squash is roasting, heat a Dutch oven over low to medium heat.  Add coconut oil to the pot until it melts, then add onion.  Season onion with cumin, coriander, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Sautee onions until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sautee for another couple of minutes until garlic becomes fragrant and golden. 
  3. Add the lentils to the pot and toss until coated in seasoning.  Then add water, soy sauce, and bay leaves. 
  4. Using kitchen twine, tie together the carrots, celery and sage leaves into a bundle (this will be removed at the end and bundling it together makes it easier to remove) and gently drop the bundle into the pot. 
  5. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. 
  6. Once lentils are tender remove from heat and let sit covered until the squash is cool enough to handle.  Once the squash is cool, remove the carrot-celery-sage bundle from the pot.  Remove the bay leaves.  Separate the squash flesh from the skin and transfer the flesh to the pot.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until you’ve achieved your desired consistency.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until desired consistency is achieved.  You can blend lightly for a chunky soup or blend more for a creamier texture.   
I prefer a creamier consistency so I blended my soup until it was almost smooth.  If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can pulse your blender and leave some chunks of squash and lentils in tact. 

I prefer a creamier consistency so I blended my soup until it was almost smooth.  If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can pulse your blender and leave some chunks of squash and lentils in tact. 

For the croutons:

  • Take a stale baguette and cut it into slices, then cubes.  Transfer the bread cubes to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and seasoning of your choice.  I used Williams-Sonoma Diavolo Seasoning.  Transfer the cubes to a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 5-7 minutes until crispy and golden-brown. 
This seasoning is my all time favorite for making croutons, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it for the recipe, but still want to enjoy the spicy croutons with your soup, you can make your own spicy seasoning by combining about 1/2 a teaspoon of each of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper.

This seasoning is my all time favorite for making croutons, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it for the recipe, but still want to enjoy the spicy croutons with your soup, you can make your own spicy seasoning by combining about 1/2 a teaspoon of each of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper.

For the Acorn squash seeds:

  • Remove the stringy squash from the seeds and rinse the seeds in a mesh colander.  Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel, then transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and seasoning of your choice.  Transfer the seeds to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until seeds are crunchy and golden-brown. 

Toddler Tip:

Once you have cut open the acorn squash, let your toddler scoop out the seeds and stringy mess--now that he or she may be a post-Halloween expert seed-scooper! You can also let your toddler separate the seeds from the squash and season them for later roasting.

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