When the days get colder and the nights get shorter, a hearty winter soup can be seriously comforting. What’s more, seasonal foods just taste better, and are the backbone of everything I’m eating at this time of year. I’ve also been trying my best to eat veggie, and this meal packs a good punch of protein, which is always a benefit for those sweet gainz.
This recipe, where slow roasting brings out all of the sweetness in carrots, squash, onions and garlic, ticks all of the boxes when it comes to winter comfort food. It takes a bit of time to break down the hardy winter veg in the oven, but it’s completely worth it. It is a pretty simple one too, which basically breaks down as roast, blitz, season. Lovely.
- 2 butternut squashes
- 1 onion
- 3 carrots
- 4 large cloves of garlic, skin on
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 3 tablespoons of coriander
- 200g puy lentils
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan)
- Prepare your vegetables. The squash just needs chopping in half and the seeds and pith removing, and the onion just needs halfing (you will take the skin off after cooking. Leave the carrots whole (but wash them), and do the same for the garlic cloves. Leave their skin on as well though. This way the inside gets nice of hot, without anything getting burnt.
- Before adding them to the oven, ensure that all veg has a good slathering of olive oil on it. Again this lets them get nice and hot, without burning.
- Now pop everything in the oven. The onion should be chopped side down, whilst the butternut squash should be the opposite way, so that the flesh is showing.
- Roast for around 2 hours. Baste the squash in the juices which collect in the space where the seeds and pith were. Don’t worry if the onion looks a little burnt, it’s the inner layers you’ll be using
- Remove all of the veg from the oven, ready to be transferred to a thick bottomed, cast iron plan. Now’s a good time to cook your lentils in a separate pan as per the instructions on the packaging.
- Scoop all of the flesh out of the squash, and pop it into the pan. Discard the skin. The carrots can go directly in, whilst the garlic and onion will need their burnt outer skin taking off, then can go in too. Also add your butter now.
- Add your 2 stock cubes, as well as around 700ml of boiling water and the cumin. Start to heat the pan at a low heat, until the whole mix is simmering gently
- Now, blitz all of the veg in a food processor. Add water, salt and pepper too. It;s down to you how much, dependant on the soup consistency you’re after.
- Finally, add your lentils and coriander, chopped. Taste it and see what you think. If the flavour isn’t quite there for you, salt and peppers can do wonders for soup.