Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Clean Eating Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Coconut and Cilantro

Makes 9 servings, about 1 cup each
I LOVED this soup. But I might be biased because butternut squash and coconut are two of my favorite foods. For me this was the perfect mix of slightly sweet squash and creamy coconut with a hint of cumin. I will admit that Matt and the boys weren't huge fans (meaning they ate it but there was some whining) but they all despise butternut squash so I wasn't super surprised. But that's okay, all the more for me and the baby (her opinion doesn't really count yet because at this point she eats anything we put in her mouth lol). This was fast to make, froze really well, and made me happy as I ate it for lunch all week when it was chilly outside. I did not add any salt to it so, if you are new to clean eating (or just like your soup a bit salty), then you might want to throw some in. At first glance it may seem like this dish is high in saturated fat but it's mainly from the coconut milk which is, believe it or not, good for you. Read more about it HERE.

Liadan and I modeling how delicious this soup is!
Okay, we were really modeling the Thermos product. But the reason she opened her mouth wide with that happy look on her face so they could get this great shot was because she was eating this soup so I think that still counts ;)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of lentils (I used green but any kind is fine)
  • 4 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable would be fine too)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped (2 1/2 - 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro plus extra for garnish
CROCKPOT INSTRUCTIONS: Throw everything into the crockpot, cover, and cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours or until lentils and veggies are tender.

It makes me so happy to dump a bunch of stuff into the crockpot
and then have it be delicious soup in the evening :)
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onion, carrots and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add lentils, broth, coconut milk, cumin, mustard, squash, and cilantro. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils and veggies are tender.

Once the soup is done you can certainly eat it as is but we prefer to puree it into a smooth, thick stew. I use my immersion blender for this but you could use a blender or food processor instead. I served it garnished with a dollop of plain yogurt, a little cilantro, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. Pumpkin seeds, some unsweetened flaked coconut, or a dash of lime juice would work nicely as well.

Freeze leftovers in 1 cup portions using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.

Per 1 cup serving - 256 Calories (118 Calories from Fat), 13g of Fat, 11g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 220mg Sodium, 30g Carbohydrates, 10g Dietary Fiber, 5g Sugar, 8.5g Protein, 242% DV Vitamin A, 42% DV Vitamin C, 8% DV Calcium, 19% DV Iron

** NOTE: As mentioned above, I know this seems like a LOT of fat, particularly saturated fat, but this comes from the coconut milk and is actually not a bad kind of fat. For more info check out this LINK.

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