lentil and butternut squash soup

Soup is the best thing to happen to winter. Throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and feast for a week. To be honest, I don't really remember this soup because we made it a few weeks ago but I had nothing to put on this little 'ole bloggie today, so this memory resurfaced. But it was good, I imagine, because you really can't go wrong with butternut squash ... except for the fact that touching said squash raw may or may not give your hands a chemical peel. Google it, it's the weirdest thing. So the only thing I advise with this recipe is plastic gloves or peeling the squash while holding a dish towel or something. And the peeling doesn't stop for a few days no matter how much lotion you lather, at least for me, but my skin can be rather high maintenance at times. Original recipe here. And oh my goodness, it's almost CHRISTMAS!
Ingredients:
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1½ cups brown lentils
  • One bunch rainbow swiss chard
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • White wine (optional)
Directions:
  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince 4 garlic cloves. Peel and chop 3 carrots into small pieces. For the leeks, chop off the dark green stems of 3 leeks and the bottom root, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices (resulting in half-moon shapes). There will be dirt in between each layer of the leeks, so when you’ve finished chopping them, rinse them thoroughly in a colander. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the halves with a vegetable peeler, then chop them into small pieces. Wash the rainbow chard, remove the stems, and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of the pan; add the leeks and saute until they soften, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the squash, vegetable broth, lentils, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes; until the lentils are soft. In the last 2 minutes, add the chopped chard and simmer until tender. Taste, then add additional kosher salt (about ½ teaspoon or so) and fresh ground pepper to taste. If desired, add a tablespoon or so of white wine to finish.