In squash season I probably make at least one squash soup a week so variety is crucial. This particular squash recipe includes red lentils to make it a full meal and sumac as the secret ingredient.
If you have never cooked with red lentils before you are missing out, they cook faster then any other legume and have a great nutritional profile. If you like this soup you may also like one of my favorite older recipes for a Butternut squash, red lentil and coconut milk soup.
Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Soup(serves 3-4)
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cut the stem off the squash as though you are carving a pumpkin. You want to leave a hole on the top big enough for air to enter and circulate through the squash (about 2" in diameter). Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for an hour or until the flesh is tender.
3. In a medium soup pot place the olive oil, onion and carrot and sweat over medium low heat until soft. Add the garlic, a pinch of salt, a healthy grind of pepper and the sumac and sweat for another 2-3 minutes while stirring regularly so the garlic doesn't brown.
4. Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds from it and spoon the fleshy part directly into the soup pot. Stir in the stock and bring to a simmer. Taste the broth now and add salt if you believe it needs it (This will vary substantially depending on whether you are using homemade or bought stock). Add the red lentils. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or refrigerate freeze for later.