- spray cooking oil
- 1 pound lentils, rinsed and picked over*
- 2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock or water
- 1 whole dried poblano pepper, hard stem broken off, or 1 fresh jalapeno, stem removed, halved
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, maybe also 1tsp basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, well-washed, stems removed, chopped
- 1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (you want to end up with about 2 1/2 cups diced squash)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- paper-thin slices of lemon to garnish; thin wedges of lemon to pass at the table
Spray a large soup pot with oil, and in it cook the onion/celery/garlic, then add the aromatics, lentils & stock, then add the squash/potatoes 15 minutes later and cook for another 20-30 mins, then add the spinach for only a few minutes at the end.
(For the stock, you can just add a dollop of better than bouillon with the aromatics before adding the water.)
This approach builds flavor better than the original recipe.
Do not wait until the end to add salt, either. Salt in stages. Always.