BUTTERNUT SQUASH, FENNEL AND RED LENTIL SOUP WITH A SAVORY GRANOLA
It is officially soup season, and squash season! It was so cold in January, that all I wanted was hot soups, ramen, more soups, ramen lol. Although tomato soup is my all-time favorite soup, I do love a good butternut squash soup. Since butternut squash is inherently sweet, I love adding quite a bit of spices to the soup to make it savory and less sweet, to balance it out.
I made this soup for a sponsored Instagram post with an olive oil company, but a lot of people ended up requesting the recipe, hence I thought I would put the recipe on my blog! The savory granola is really the star of the show on this luxurious soup! The savory granola is a wonderful addition, and adds the perfect crunch and saltiness to this subtley sweet soup. The savory granola was inspired by the Savory Granola on bonappetit.com. The savory granola has ingredients like oats, walnuts pumpkin seeds, fennel seeds, spices and toasted bread crumbs. The fennel seeds are added because I have fennel in the soup as well so the entire combination goes well together. The savory granola works so well with yogurt drizzled with a bit of honey. It makes the perfect wholesome breakfast!
The soup is really simple to put together. That is the beauty of winter soups! You can add a few fresh ingredients, along with spices, and vegetable broth, boil it for a bit, put it through a high speed blender, and you get a beautiful luxurious soup! This soup has wintry goodness like butternut squash, fennel and it is made hearty by adding red lentils.
This soup in itself is quite wholesome, and a bowl of soup with some crusty olive oil bread will suffice! The cayenne powder makes this soup a bit spicy but I love spicy especially in the winter because it instantly warms you up. You can omit it if you do not like spiciness in a soup.
The soup stores well too, and I like to make a big batch and serve it up during the week, when all I want is a quick soupy lunch, along with good ol crusty bread.
Ingredients in the soup:
The soup has really hearty, wholesome ingredients like:
- Butternut Squash: This squash is cooling for the body and very good for you. I personally love butternut squash and use it in various ways in the fall and winter months in my cooking. It can be a bit hard to cut, but using a sharp knife is key. Peel off the skin using a good skin peeler.
- Fennel : Fennel bulbs add a lovely mild taste and texture to the soup. And fennel fronds do make a lovely garnish on the top of the soup if you like that!
- Aromatics : Red onions and Garlic are a must!
- Red Lentils: They cook pretty fast, so adding red lentils, makes for a hearty delicious soup and you really do not require anything else to eat.
- Spices: I add cayenne pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and dried thyme. They all add to the lovely flavor in this soup.
I hope you get a chance to make this, and the granola, because they both are great together, OR you can even have it separately. My kids loved this soup and they wanted seconds too, which says a lot, of how much they enjoyed it! 🙂
We have all been sick taking the rounds of fever, cold and cough and I am pretty much fedup of being sick. We are all on the mend but I am waiting for all of us to become 100%. Here is wishing all of you a healthy February!
Butternut Squash, Fennel and Red Lentil Soup with a Savory Granola
- (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp maldon salt
- 1 ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup bread cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
Butternut Squash, Fennel and Red Lentil Soup:
- 1 pound butternut squash, diced into small pieces
- ½ cup split red lentils
- 2 fennel bulbs sliced thin
- 1 cup red onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste(I like my soup a bit spicy so I add a tad bit more black pepper)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- Savory Granola
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil Or heavy cream
- In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add in the 2 tbsp olive oil. Let the oil warm up for around 30 seconds. Now add in the chopped bread and thyme and mix well with the olive oil. Saute every few minutes and let the bread get toasted for about 10 minutes in total. Remove off the gas and let it cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the granola, in a medium bowl, add in all the ingredients together, along with the toasted bread and mix well with a spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are well coated with the wet ingredients. Using a large baking tray, use a nonstick spray all over the tray. Add in the granola and spread evenly with the spatula. Put it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, stirring the granola after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely for about an hour.
- Store in an air tight container for upto a month.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH, FENNEL and RED LENTIL SOUP:
- In a Large pot, on medium heat, add in the olive oil, add in the fennel, onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes until slightly translucent. Add in the spices like smoked paprika, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper and saute to mix. Add in the red lentils and butternut squash and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Now add in the vegetable stock and let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes, partially covered, until the squash is soft and the lentils when pinched between the fingers is soft. Now add in the heavy cream and mix. The cream will make it smooth and luxurious. Switch off the gas.
- Add the soup in 2 batches, to a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Pour it directly into the serving bowls, Or back into the pot to keep it warm.
- Once in the serving bowls, garnish with the savory granola, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil Or heavy cream, and microgreens. Enjoy with some grilled olive oil toast!