Curried Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Lentil and Butternut Squash SoupFor the soup:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras, homemade or purchased)
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons garam masala (homemade or purchased)
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the cilantro oil:
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


    1. Heat oil with butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
    2. Stir in curry powder and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
    3. Add lentils and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25 to 40 minutes. Stir in garam masala, lemon juice, chopped cilantro, and butter, and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer gently while you prepare the cilantro oil.
    4. Purée chopped cilantro, oil, and salt in a blender or small food processor.
    5. Serve the soup drizzled with cilantro oil. Basmati rice and/or roti are nice on the side, or you can serve the soup over the rice in bowls.

Source: Champaign Taste blog posted 17 February 2009

I made this with some changes lke omitting the curry on March 4, 2012. See Lee's version [Lee's Red Lentil Butternut Squash Soup]

March 4, 2012