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Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Cauliflower

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.


  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups cubed (½-inch dice) butternut squash or same quantity of pre-cut squash
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices; packaged florets work fine
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1½ teaspoons curry powder, plus more if desired
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken broth or stock, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

Try this spicy, filling soup for your next dinner, and be sure to take a photo to share on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ALMbites.

Reprinted from Soup Nights. Copyright © 2016 by Rizzoli New York.