Monday, November 7, 2016

Curried Squash Lentil Barley Soup; Meatless Monday

The falling temperatures and the shorter days, not to mention the on & off cold and cough that accompanies the fluctuating weather, drive us towards food that is warm and comforting. In Fall, soups seem very attractive when compared to salads or anything else for that matter. Soups soothe the throat and rejuvenate the body. The Fall bounty of a myriad variety of squashes , gourds and pumpkin makes soups colorful and desirable. I love all vegetables with their festive colors.  In this soup, I have used butternut squash and pumpkin. I have added orange lentils for their protein and fiber and some barley to make it wholesome, balanced and a complete meal! I have to admit that the lentils took away the attractive appearance of the soup but the taste was delicious and filling!  Usually after drinking a soup, I feel hunger pangs in no time! This time however,  I wasn't hungry ! I also added ginger and a little curry spice for it's anti-inflammatory properties!
It is super-easy to make & freezes well. You can also use your slow cooker to make it. You can make a batch for the whole week! I took some to work and everyone loved it!

Servings: 8-10

Prep time: 30 mins + 30 mins for soaking barley.Cook time: 30 minsTotal time: 1 hour.


Barley: 1/2 cup, soaked in 4 cups water for atleast 30 mins.
Orange lentils: 1/2 cup
Butternut squash cubes: 4 cups
Pumpkin cubes: 2 cups
Turnip cubes: 1 cup
Water: 2 liters
Ginger: 1 inch piece
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/4 tsp
Black pepper: 1/4 tsp, freshly ground.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Bay leaf: 1
Garam masala powder: 1/8 tsp ( optional).
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Jaggery: 1/2 tsp ( brown sugar/ sugar can be used instead).


Cook barley in 4 cups of water until tender, around 20 mins. When the barley is cooking, prep the remaining ingredients.

Boil 2 liters of water in a pot. 

To this add the washed lentils, ginger and cook for 15 mins. Remove the scum that accumulates on the surface. 

Now add the  cooked barley, squashes, turnips, bay leaf, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder, black pepper, jaggery and salt. Cook until tender, around 30 mins. 

Add more water if you find the soup thick.

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil on medium heat. Add the curry powder and red chilli powder. Turn off the stove. Add this to the pot.

Serve hot ! Enjoy with some crusty bread if you wish! I had it as is!

Cooking made easy:

Any kind of lentil and any kind of squashes/gourds can be used in this soup. You can totally skip the use of garam masala powder. If you do that, just add the red chilli powder with the cumin & coriander powders.
You can use as less chilli powder as you wish!

Tip for healthy living:

As evident in this post and several other posts, it is totally possible to enjoy a hearty meal without any meat  in it. It is not essential that one has meat in all their meals! Meatless Mondays is a great initiative in this direction.

Food for thought:

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford

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