Monday marked the start of my third week of eating “clean”, and you guys, I’m feeling kind of amazing (which I don’t say lightly). I haven’t had coffee in weeks (which if you know me well, you know was the hardest thing for me to give up). Same with dairy and gluten. But the truth is, I don’t really miss it. I think I’m just loving this new feeling of feeling GOOD – and I want it to last.
But friends, please don’t let that fool you. I 1 million percent, still eat pizza and popcorn and drink wine and let myself have a little fun – and when I do, I don’t sweat it.
I don’t look at food or my diet so black and white. You can still eat “clean” (or at least try) and have a slice of pizza with your kids on a Friday night. It’s not all or nothing.
Find what balance works for you. But at the end of the day, if I could say one thing, it’s that food should be fun and something we ENJOY. We don’t need to deprive ourselves.
Even when we’re eating “healthy”. There are so many great options out there now. So many delicious meals and recipes that are good for you – AND actually TASTE GOOD too!
Like this curried lentil and butternut squash soup.
I think I make some type of curry at least once a week. Our home always smells like curry – and I secretly love it. Especially in the winter. Give me something warm and cozy – and IN A BOWL – and I’m a happy camper.
I also love recipes that are super easy and fast to put together. For this soup, I roasted all of the vegetables together on one big sheet pan – even the ginger with the skin still on. Then I pureed it all together in my Vitamix with some cooked lentils, spices and coconut milk.
It’s filled with carrots, and ginger and butternut squash. Garlic and curry powder. Cool lime and sweet milky coconut milk. It’s thick and hearty and tastes super decadent.
To serve this curried lentil and butternut squash soup I always start with a big mound of rice. I love basmati rice (and Lundberg is my favorite brand of rice) for this, but you could easily use brown rice or even quinoa to keep it gluten-free. Then I add a big old ladle of hot soup, topped off with a generous dollop of coconut milk, a handful of cilantro and scallions, toasted pumpkin seeds and a little drizzle of olive oil and a dash of red pepper flakes or chili powder. I know. It’s a lot. But honestly, this soup is sort of all about the condiments. Just pile it on.
We almost always have Naan bread laying around too – so I usually add a side of naan right to the bowl to help “scoop”. Because if I’m being honest, there’s nothing I love more than scooping up rice and coconut milk with bread. It’s my weakness.
If you’re looking for something warm and hearty and that just makes you all-around happy, then this soup is it. And for other curry inspiration check out our cauliflower curry with chickpeas and rice, or our red lentil dal. Two of my other favorite curry recipes.
- 1 cup of butternut squash, cut into cubes
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1" piece of fresh ginger (skin can be on or off)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 cup of lentils, rinsed
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp of curry powder
- 3½ cups of vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2-3 limes
- handful of cilantro
- rice or quinoa for serving along with pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- On a large baking sheet place chopped onion, carrot, butternut squash and ginger. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt/pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is tender and all vegetables are caramelized
- Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven add rinsed lentils, curry powder, garlic cloves and stock. Cover and bring to a simmer. Allow lentils to cook for 20 minutes.
- When the vegetables are done roasting remove from oven and working in batches (I would suggest doing half at a time) transfer to a high-speed blender, along with half of the cooked lentils/stock. Blend on high speed until you've reached a smooth consistency.
- Transfer the pureed soup to a pot and then finish pureeing the remaining vegetables, lentils, and stock.
- Once all soup is pureed and transferred to a pot, add a sprinkle of salt/pepper, ½ cup of coconut milk, the juice of two limes and a handful of cilantro. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.