Butternut French Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

NOTES: After making a half serving of vegetable bouillon, I had half a fennel bulb and half a leek left, as well as some pumpkin from Lianhua. I will probably freeze it and eat it for weeks to come.

INGREDIENTS: about 1 1/2 lbs of pumpkin or squash, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, 1 cup of green lentils rinsed, 5 coins of ginger 1/8 inch thick, 1 whole star anise, 6 cups of water,1 diced onion, 1/2 a sliced leek, 1/2 a diced fennel bulb, red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 425F/ 220C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Chop into 1 inch squares, sprinkle with salt, and roast with 1/2 cup / 120 ml of water poured into the pan. You may have to periodically add more water. Roast until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. When cool enough, scoop out cooked squash and set aside.

In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, star anise and water. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

In a large stockpot combine the olive oil, onion, leeks, fennel and additional salt. Cook covered over low heat until vegetables soften, about 7 – 10 minutes.

Remove the star anise and ginger coins from the lentil sauce pan, then add the lentils, lentil broth and squash to the vegetables in the stock pot. Stir well and cook for another 15 minutes or so, allowing the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning here with more salt if needed, and a few generous pinches of red pepper flakes as well.

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