Late Summer Soup With Butternut Squash, Corn and Red Lentils

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There’s nothing like making a big pot of soup at the cottage. It’s handy to have on hand in the fridge, making for easy mealtimes, and even on a hot day soup provides a tasty and nourishing lunch on the beach. The last time I wrote about making soup at the cottage some of my readers remarked that they didn’t think a hot soup would work on a hot day. But really, no one blinks an eye at eating a hot burger and fries when temperatures soar. Homemade soup is much better for you, and takes a lot less energy in the kitchen to heat up!

I made this late summer soup with ingredients found almost entirely at the market nearby. Cooking with local ingredients brings the season from the garden to your soup pot. The late summer harvest here includes butternut squash, new potatoes, green beans, onions, garlic, corn and tomatoes. I wasn’t sure how the squash would work together with the tomatoes, beans and corn, and was pleased with the result.

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This is the first time I’ve used squash in a soup without pureeing it, and the result was a chunky and satisfying soup with a good depth of flavour. The lentils cook down and help thicken the broth while adding to the medley of textures from the different vegetables. The colours were lovely, too: deep gold, creamy white, red, green and yellow.

The day I made this, the Culinary Enthusiast and a friend of his had two helpings each on the beach. The next evening, the soup served as the first course for dinner with two other visitors. And there was still some left for one more lunch. That’s a lot of mileage from one pot of soup! Not to mention, I had the pleasure of making it from wholesome and fresh ingredients and spending some creative time in the cottage kitchen … my idea of bliss.

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Late Summer Soup With Butternut Squash, Corn and Red Lentils

– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 large onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 2 small potatoes, cut into half inch dice
– half a butternut squash, cut into half inch dice (about twice the amount of the potatoes)
– fat handful of green beans, stem ends removed and cut into spoon-sized pieces
– 5 or 6 tomatoes, chopped
– 4 cups organic vegetable broth
– 2 cups water
– 2 tsp dried chopped sage (or 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage if you have it)
– freshly ground pepper to taste
– about 1 tsp salt
– 1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
– corn cut from 2 cobs, raw or pre-cooked
– handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until translucent. Add the potatoes, squash and beans. Season with pepper, stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and water, sage, salt and lentils. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. If using fresh corn, add now. Otherwise, cook for about 20 minutes and add the pre-cooked corn and parsley. Adjust seasonings as needed, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or so, until all the vegetables are cooked through.

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13 comments

  1. I, too, have never used a squash in soup unless it was puréed in the process. Funny how a little change like that can make a world of difference. I do love adding corn to soups. Love that “pop” of flavor it brings. And what’s not to love about lentils? This soup recipe is a keeper, Mar. I can see myself enjoying it well into Winter.

    • It is funny, isn’t it … It seemed like such a big change to leave the squash diced. It worked very well in the soup, actually. The corn is such a fun element for a soup, exactly because of that ‘pop’ you refer to! Who says soup has to be boring?

  2. Your soup looks wonderful – just the thing anytime, but particularly when there’s a hint of fall in the air as there is in Calgary today.

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