Monday, May 16, 2011

Why do you Build Me Up Butternut Baby...

I am still deciding between a couple recipes for the contest. It’s so hard to choose! I have come up with some tasty ideas though so after I submit expect a whirlwind of recipe posts with Rudi’s bread products. In the meantime I am coming across other weeknight recipes you have to try. Lucky for you and me!

Monday morning rolled around with a bit of the jet lagged, no more vacation time blues so I decided that a homemade soup with fresh veggies would turn us around. Plus, it took care of dinner for the next couple nights when I knew I would be supremely pooped from the travel and lack of sleep. I remembered I had some frozen cubed butternut squash in the freezer that I need to use, and I have also been wanting to make red lentils ever since my lentil soup epiphany. I did a search online through many vegan/vegetarian blogs and found a soup that caught my eye. Home cooked and delicious in 30-40 minutes? Done.

I ran my eyes over the list of ingredients and almost added/changed a couple but I resisted. I knew it would be delicious just by looking at it and I also knew my heavy hand in adding spices so I ran to whole foods at lunch and plucked the night’s produce in a excited tizzy and began to stew a bit myself until 5:30 hit.

This soup was unbelievable. Yes, I am bragging because I am confident you will love it too. Sometimes husbands give a little white lie but I must boast that mine is purdy honest with my cooking. He makes a good critic. Plus, since we are living with my in-laws while our house is being built I got their praise for the soup as well. And in case you're wondering, yes, I added more spices to the recipe I found. Must be the European in me. That and my love for doubling all olive oil in my recipes.

I adapted this soup recipe from She has some really great and healthy recipes. So here is my soup recipe that I concocted from hers. Perfect if you are living in the rainy springtime right now in Tulsa! Click here for the original recipe: EatingBirdFood's red lentil butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup with “Cheesy” Spiced Crostinis


• 1 medium sweet onion, slicked in half moons
• 1 cup chopped carrots
• 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic
• 2 tsp of olive oil
• 1 cup of dry red lentils (washed and picked through for stones)
• 1 bag of frozen cubed butternut squash-thawed
• 4- 5 cups of Pacific vegetable broth
• Tbs dried basil
• Tbs dried oregano
• Tbs dried thyme
• Tbs kosher salt
• Tbs freshly ground black pepper
• Tbs or two cayenne pepper – depending on what you can handle
• Optional Tbs Cajun seasoning – it’s a favorite of mine and is a great spice blend!

• Optional 1-2 Tbs nutritional yeast

I forgot to snap a picture of mine so here is hers!
Heat oil in a large soup pot, and add your minced garlic. When you can smell its aroma add the onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add carrots and sauté until onions are translucent and tender. Add lentils, squash and 4 cups of the broth to the pot. After about 25 minutes add your yeast and adjust seasoning to taste. Add the seasonings and let simmer for about 30 minutes. I let mine simmer for closer to 40.
As her blog predicted “the lentils soaked up a lot of the broth so at the end to make it less thick I added the extra 2 cups of broth. I like my soup to be less thick, but you could forego the extra broth if you like it that way.” I added about another half cup/cup to it. I like mine on the thicker side.

“Cheesy” Spiced Crostinis

I love to have a little bread to soak up the soup dregs or enjoy during my meal. These little slices of heaven paired perfectly with the soup and I enjoyed the flavors of the lentils lumped onto the crostini. Yes I used my Cajun seasoning but feel free to add whatever spice blend your little chef heart desires. I make this toast a lot at home. I used my nutritional yeast for a topping and baked it until melted giving it a delicious cheesy flavor! You may still be hesitant but I suggest it. I made 2 with the yeast and two without for my husband. He tried mine and requested his have the melted goodness on his toast the following night for leftovers.

• Food For Life’s Rice Almond Bread (or bread of your choice-this was in my freezer!)
• Louisiana Cajun Seasoning
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place bread on a cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Dust with the seasoning. Top with desired amount of nutritional yeast. I used probably about a tbs per 1 slice of bread.Bake at 350 for 10 minutes then flip. Bake for another 5 or until you see the yeast turned to melted cheesy consistency. Serve with you soup!

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