After a long travel day, going from warm sunny Costa Rica, to damp and grey Madison, I was craving a nourishing and grounding meal. Luckily these staple ingredients were waiting at home for me.  This soup is quick to make, easy to digest and filling, plus it travels well to work or school in a thermos.

Taking the extra step of grinding your own spices adds a boost of flavor. If you do not have the time or whole seeds on hand, you can use ground or powdered spices. If you are short on patience for steps in cooking, this soup will also turn out well by tossing all the ingredients into a slow cooker.

1 cup split red lentils, soaked & rinsed
1 cup kabocha squash, peeled, seeded & diced
1 cup sweet potato, peeled & diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
6 cups water

  1. To support smooth digestion, soak the red lentils in cool water for 2-8 hours, then rinse well.
  2. In a spice grinder or mortar & pestle, grind cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds, set spice mix aside.
  3. In a soup pot, heat ghee on medium, add onions and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add mustard seeds until they become fragrant.
  5. Stir in spice mix along with turmeric, ginger, and salt.  Sauté until aromatic, about a minute.
  6. Add water, red lentils, squash, and sweet potatoes.  Stir, bring to a boil, then turn to medium-low heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until squash, sweet potatoes, and lentils are tender.
  7. Adjust salt to taste.

Serves 2


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