Curried Lentil-Squash Soup
Soup is very popular in our house. I often make a big batch, serve some for our midday or evening meal, and freeze the rest for quick future meals. It’s great having homemade soup all ready to go on extra-busy days, or when I’m too tired to cook.
With a basket of whole-grain bread or crackers, soup is a meal in itself. I usually keep a bowl of fresh fruit handy, so I can add apple slices, grapes or whatever is in season, as a sweet finish.
This lovely golden soup is adapted from a popular Middle Eastern dish. Red lentils cook very quickly, much faster than most beans and other legumes. Lentils, cumin, turmeric, and many kinds of squash are popular throughout the Middle and Far Eastern countries, and the combination makes a really hearty, nourishing, and well-balanced dish.
In fact, the best thing about soup like this one is that you get lots of vegetables plus protein all in one bowl. And that says nothing about the fiber, complex carbohydrates, and PD-benefits of turmeric. If you use levodopa and cannot tolerate dairy, omit the yogurt.
Curried Lentil-Squash Soup
Makes 6 servings
4 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
20 ounces (about 1 1/4 pounds) peeled, seeded winter squash, diced ½”
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2″ knob of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Tablespoon turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 ½ cups red lentils
1 ½ quarts water or low sodium chicken stock
1 – 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro (coriander)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
½ cup chopped tomato
1 cup yogurt
4 medium whole-wheat pita loaves
In a large, 6-quart heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring every few minutes, about 15 minutes. Vegetables should be starting to brown lightly.
Add cumin, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne if using, and cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes.
Add lentils and water, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer. Check after 15-20 minutes to see if it needs more water. Mixture should not be too thick, so add more water if needed. Cook until lentils are quite tender and starting to fall apart, about 30-40 minutes total. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir well, and taste for seasoning, adding additional vinegar or lemon juice and salt if needed.
At this point, soup may be served as is, or pureed in a blender, food processor or with a stick blender. Serve, passing parsley or cilantro, scallions, chopped tomato, and yogurt at the table, so people can season their soup as they like. Pita bread plus lentils makes a complete protein.
Note: To make this soup dairy-free, omit adding yogurt at the table.
As always, be sure to check out Nutrition U Can Live With for more delicious and healthy recipes geared towards those with Parkinson’s Disease!
Per Serving: 457 Calories; 13g Fat (23.8% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 70g Carbohydrate; 22g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 466mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.