When Autumn comes around and butternut squash comes into season I dig out this recipe. Its warming, filling and looks and tastes like Autumn.
To serve 4 - 6 (depending on how big a portion you want), you will need:
1 butternut squash
1 clove of garlic
1 large/2 small red onions
1 large red pepper
1 cup of red lentils
1 litre of your stock of choice (I use one chicken stock cube to make mine, but if you want it to be vegetarian friendly use vegetable stock)
Salt and black pepper
You will also need a roasting tray, a large saucepan and a blender (as well as extra basic kitchen equipment)
Start by chopping your butternut squash into smallish cubes. Its quite tough so the bigger your chopping knife, the easier it is. Once you've gone through the gruelling job of cutting it up, place the squash into the roasting tray, drizzle with some olive oil and season with some salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven, pre-heated to 200 DEGREES C for between 25 - 35 minutes, until its beginning to soften.
Meanwhile, gently heat some olive oil in your saucepan. Crush or finely cut up the garlic and add to the pan, followed by the onions, chopped into cubes. Cut the red pepper into cubes and add to the pan and then leave to slowly cook. Prepare the stock so its ready to add when needed.
Once the butternut squash is ready, add it to the pan and give it all a bit of a stir. Pour in the stock, making sure the pan isn't too full, because the soup needs to boil, and then add in the lentils. Also, add a pinch of salt and pepper to season to your liking (I like about a teaspoon of black pepper and I sometimes add a pinch of chilli flakes for a bit of heat).
Turn up the heat and wait for the soup to come to the boil, before turning the heat back down and leaving to gently simmer for about half an hour. When its ready, the lentils will be slightly yellow, soft and will have grown a lot in size.
Grab your blender, I like to use a hand blender so you don't have to transfer the soup out of the saucepan, and give it a good blend until you're left with a thick, orange soup and there are no chunks left.
Without a doubt this is my favourite soup. Its easy to make, smells (and tastes) incredible and is really satisfying. Perfect for an Autumn day when you've got a bit of a cold.