Monday, January 21, 2013

Delicious French Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Dino Kale (SCD Friendly, Vegan)

There’s a great little restaurant down the street from my house and next door to my beloved Davis Foods Coop, called Monticello. They serve seasonal cuisine and uphold a farm to plate menu (they even have their own farm!) – I just love that.  Their menu is awesome, serving up organic chicken, gluten free breads, a ton of vegan soups, organic salad, etc.  If you are ever in Davis (California), call me and I will take you there.  It’s fabulous, fresh and healthy.  A few months ago I took my son to this favorite spot for lunch.  Their soup of the day knocked my socks off.  It was so simple, yet so delicious.  I asked what was in the soup (without getting too nosy), then rushed next door to my Coop and gathered the ingredientsand I made it that night for dinner.  It’s a simple French lentil soup, but what makes it extra special is the addition of kale and butternut squash.  The butternut squash and carrots impart a delicate sweetness to the dish and the tender kale is the perfect texture against the creamy lentils.  I played around with the recipe a few times until I found the perfect ratios. I hope you also enjoy this soup.  It’s very satisfying.  Oh, and I love it the next morning with two fried eggs, avocado, and a splash of hot sauce.  
Superb my friends.  
Ingredients
-2 cups onions, small chop 
-2 cups carrots, peeled and small chop
-3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and small cubed 

-1/2 pound (8 ounces) of dino kale, wash and remove large stem  

-2 cups French lentils, soaked for 6 – 8 hours* (please see notes about the soaking).   
-7 cups filtered water 
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons oil
-3 turns of the pepper grinder

How To:
1.  In large soup stock pan (my dutch oven is too small for this recipe), add onions, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.
2.  Add in the carrots and butternut squash and saute for 3 to 5 minutes.  
3.  Drain the lentils of their soaking water and add them to the pot, along with the garlic granules, the additional 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and water.  Bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.
4.  Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
5.  After 45 minutes, uncover.  Tear the kale with your hands as you add it to the pot.  Stir kale around and bring the soup to very gentle simmer.  Simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until kale is nice and tender.  
6.  Turn off heat and let sit until ready to serve (cover if you wish).  Warm through before serving.  Serves 6 adults.  I like to serve with a wedge of lemon.  

Notes:
*The lentils must be soaked for this dish for two reasons: (1) when making SCD soups with lentils, soaking them is necessary, and (2) the water in this soup has been calibrated only to the soaked lentils. I have found soaked verses dried legumes require different water ratios.  So please follow directions as specified for best results.

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Labels: main dish, SCD, Soup, vegan, vegetarian, winter cuisine.

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