"This soup is wonderfully filling and works as lunch or dinner or even an excellent breakfast, if any is left by then. Serve with whole-wheat bread, and you have a feast!"
-Ann Esselstyn, in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease-
Servings: 8-10 generous bowls
1 large acorn squash, baked, seeded, and cut in chunks (short-cut: buy precut butternut squash. Find at Trader Joe's in 18 ounce package)
2 sweet potatoes or yams, baked, peeled, and cut in chunks
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped (3/4 cup)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups red lentils
8 cups water
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Update 10/2010: Turns out my husband forgot to tell me about a key spice he added to this recipe-- about 1 tsp. Garam Masala (add more or less to taste) This is must-have multi-textured Indian spice that isn't anything like curry--and use it often, from butternut squash bisques, to lentil soups. Find at any grocery store. I use Spice Islands.
3 or 4 handfuls fresh spinach (more if you wish) or chopped kale with the spine removed
3 zucchinis, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Bake acorn squash and sweet potatoes for up to 1 hour, until soft. If using the precut squash, check for doneness after 15-20 minutes.
3. In a large (really large) soup pot, over medium high heat, stir-fry onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until onion is soft and carrots are beginning to soften. Add 1/4 cup of veggie broth or water to keep the veggies from sticking. (Ann says you can skip this step and go straight to Step 4)
4. Add red lentils, 8 cups of water, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, until lentils have almost dissolved.
5. Add acorn squash and sweet potatoes to the pot and mash into the soup. (A potato masher works well.) Cook 10 minutes more.
6. Add spinach (or kale) and stir into the soup until it wilts. If you use kale, it needs to cook a lttle longer than spinach.
7. Stir-fry zucchini in a nonstick pan over high heat until just beginning to brown. Use a little bit of broth or water if needed, to prevent sticking. Add red pepper and stir-fry 1-2 minutes more. (If you are in a hurry, you may omit this step; add uncooked zucchini and red pepper in Step 6.) A few minutes before serving, add stir-fried zucchini and red pepper to the soup mixture.
8. Add cilantro and green onion just before serving.
Cook's Note: Ann uses no added salt or black pepper. My husband thought it needed some--so he added only just salt & pepper. Season to your own tastes.
Ann Esselstyn's Suggetion re adding salt: "Instead of salt I would add vinegar! Hot sauce is great, too."
Nutritional Info based on 1/10 of a serving.
Awesome Almost All-Orange Vegetable Soup
Serving Size: 1 serving
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