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French Lentil Soup with Kabocha and Parsnip

January 4, 2012

I have a not so secret obsession with kabocha squash. I’ve been known to make people wait late at night if I see a good looking one in a bodega window. This particular one I bought in Chinatown after a family Jewish Christmas replete with a movie (The Descendants) and Chinese food (Buddah Boddai). This Japanese pumpkin, which is supposedly an aphrodisiac, is perfect sliced and roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil, but I decided to make a meal out of it.

With temperatures in New York reaching the single digits, it’s officially soup season, my favorite season of the year. I like to blend this soup, in which case you’ll need an immersion blender, but it can also be eaten as is.

French Lentil Soup with Kabocha and Parsnip

1 medium onion, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 kabocha squash, half of which should be peeled and chopped the other half of which should be sliced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup french lentils
salt and pepper to taste

All good soups (well not all, but most) start with some sauteed onions. I like to mix the onions and shallots to spice it up a bit. Heat up the olive oil in your soup pot and sautee the onions–sprinkle with curry powder and coat.

Add in the parsnips and coat with the curried olive oil and onions/shallots.

After 2 minutes add in the kabocha, vegetable broth, and french lentils.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are soft. Set aside until cool enough to work with. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

I like to use the other half of the kabocha squash as garnish, roasting it with a bit of olive oil and baking at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

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