We made up a new word! When someone asks you if your squash is delicious, you say "YES, it's squelicious! Have you noticed all the colorful winter squash in the farmers market lately? I used to only be able to name a few: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and sugar pie pumpkin. Now, I feel like a winter squash expert! OK, not really. But because I talk to many farmers I have learned so much about the different varieties of winter squash. Red Kuri might be my favorite right now for it's bright color and sweet taste.
Yesterday, we went to Eatwell Farm for their Annual Pumpkin Party with a couple of our Jr. Chef Helpers to see the winter squash varieties they're growing this season. In keeping with the squash theme, we made a harvest lentil soup with winter squash and grilled cheese sandwiches.
It was a nice, breezy day so the hearty, warm soup and golden brown, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches felt so fitting and satisfying. Try making this at home!
Harvest Lentil Soup with Winter Squash
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 winter squash, peeled and diced (about 4-5 cups)
1 cup green or brown lentils, washed and picked over
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the squash on a baking sheet tray and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh of the squash is tender.
Allow the squash to cool after removing from the oven. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom stock pot, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender. Remove the bay leaf, add the roasted squash to the lentils and enjoy! I even like to add a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top or a bit of shaved parmesan cheese to make it extra special.
Eatwell also shared several kinds of roasted butternut squash that we helped judge for best taste. Our votes will help Nigel and Lorraine determine which butternut squash they'll plant! (I voted for #2!)