Wednesday, March 26, 2008

RECIPE ~ Dahl Soup with Squash

Inspired by Nigel Slater's "Dal and Pumpkin Soup", it's the perfectly soothing, aromatic lunch for a chilly day. Pictured here half-pureed, with some spinach leaves and a dollop of yogurt.

2 Tbsp olive oil or ghee
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp each: turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups red lentils, washed
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
(or substitute with canned pureed pumpkin, unsweetened)
5 cups stock or broth
(if using plain water instead, season the soup with 1 tsp sea salt)
garnishes (see below)

In a large pot, heat the oil or ghee and stir in onion, garlic and ginger. Let cook over medium-high til softened and just light browned. Add spices and bay leaf, stirring in. Add lentils, squash and stock and stir over high heat til boiling. Spoon off any froth that rises to the surface. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

When squash is soft and lentils are fully cooked (about 20-25 minutes), remove bay leaf and puree the soup til silky smooth, or leave as-is (I pureed just a bit). Serve into soup bowls. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt, some sliced onions fried with garlic, fresh chopped cilantro, or stir in fresh baby spinach leaves -- or just keep it simple! Serves 4.

VATAS a perfect Vata recipe
PITTAS replace red lentils with split peas or chana dal; reduce garlic, onion and ginger to half
KAPHAS replace squash with carrots or white potatoes


Anonymous said...

Thnxs for those tips.Is it useful for our health?pls let me know..

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hi Serena!

Which tips are you referring to -- the recommendations for specific doshas, or the different toppings to add to the soup? For the doshas, absolutely following the advice for your mind-body type will help your overall health. If you want to know what your dosha is, go to my posted article "What Is Your Mind/Body Constitution" to find out (the first link under "posted ayurveda articles" in the long column on the left).

As for the toppings, it's more for fun than health, but they're all healthy toppings :-)

Anonymous said...

Again thnxs for answering me and i will see that later.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this great recipe Fran! I make a very similar soup, except I soak the lentils for a couple of hours, use a sweet potato instead of squash, and a bit of kombu. I will have to try it with squash or carrots, yum...

Anonymous said...

I was just trying to find some Vata suited recipes! How lovely to find your blog, as I wasn't able to find a guestbook, I want to tell my appreciation here. Thank you for sharing, I'll bookmark your site ASA I finished writing here ;-D

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Yum, sweet potatoes and lentils! I'll try that too, Patty.

Agnes, thanks so much for your comment, and I've created a guestbook thanks to your idea!

Oliver Sumpton said...

Fran, I love your site! My Dosha is very Vata and this recipe is exactly what i needed tonight. You're beautiful. Be well.

Anonymous said...

I was also finding problem while making the recipe but after looking your site my dosha has become perfect.

Jo Crescent, ,Red Elephant Eats blogger said...

Hi, Fran! I've been dropping in for awhile. Just wanted to let you know I referenced your blog (in particular this squash dal soup recipe) in my backpacking blog this week about dahl for the trail. Thanks for all you do!

Jo Crescent

Anonymous said...

The recipe sounds great and I love the photo. I am curious as to the onion and garlic in the recipe, as those ingredients are not very ayurvedic. I'd suggest a little hing in place of them!

Anonymous said...


Read this article about Winter squash not being healthy in Ayurveda.
What do you think about that?

The article: