I try to keep ingredients on hand for quick, simple dinners. Frozen potstickers, eggs and salsa, and occasionally mac-n-cheese gets thrown in the cart when Craig’s doing the shopping. In the midst of a crazy week or super long day, it’s nice to know that there is a mindless option for dinner.
This organic, low sodium butternut squash soup caught my eye last time I was at Trader Joe’s. Sure, I’d rather make soup from scratch, but for a night when homemade soup isn’t an option I thought this would be a good alternative. I decided to use it as a starter for a big batch of soup last night.
I sauteed a variety of veggies that I had on hand — cabbage, onion and broccoli.
I poured the soup into a big pot and added about a cup of red lentils to bulk it up and add some protein.
I’ve been loving these red lentils lately! They are so beautiful in the jar, and they add a flavorful, nutritious boost to any dish. I simply added them to the soup, heated it up to a boil, and then let it simmer as I added the other ingredients.
I wanted to add a little zip and avoid adding too much salt, so I sprinkled in a bit of crushed red pepper.
With all the extra veggies and lentils, I poured in about 1/2 C coconut milk, just to increase the liquid and keep the creamy texture.
Eventually, I added everything to the soup, including 1/2 bad of mixed greens. Once everything was in the pot, I used my immersion blender to puree the soup.
This soup was not totally homemade, but I think I added enough healthy, whole foods to make up for it! Not only was it packed with nutritional goodness, but it was delicious! Ripe avocado was the perfect topping, and we enjoyed this with crunchy pretzel crackers and hummus on the side.
On a totally different note, I’m curious what you listen to when you’re cooking. Every night I listen to the Tracy Chapman station on Pandora, and I love it! Totally random — I never really listen to her music besides when I’m cooking, but it has become a habit. What music puts you in the cooking mood?