Cauliflower might seem an odd choice in soup, but blended with butternut squash and taken up a notch with curry powder and cumin, proves to be a deliciously pleasing dish.
- In a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add squash and cook, stirring often, until cubes are browned lightly and slightly tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, heat 2 more tablespoons of oil until hot. Add cauliflower, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, heat the remaining oil until hot. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add curry powder, ginger, cumin, and several grinds of black pepper, and stir 30 seconds. Add lentils, garlic, and 4 cups of the chicken broth or vegetable stock. Bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils start to break down and lose their color and mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in squash, cauliflower, and remaining 1 cup of broth or stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 4 to 5 minutes. (Soup can be prepared two days ahead. Cook to this stage; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat, stirring, over low heat.)
- Add spinach, stirring 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted. If soup is too thick, thin with a few tablespoons of broth. Season with salt and a pinch of curry if needed. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkle of cilantro.
Recipes reprinted from Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year. Copyright © 2016 by Rizzoli New York.