Split Red Lentil Soup with Leeks, Potatoes and Squash – Vegan and Fat Free, Garlic Free, GF
The name of this soup is a mouthful, but it’s actually quite simple to make.
The seasonings are delicious, and the kitchen smells amazing while the soup simmers.
A comforting vegan lentil potato chowder soup recipe that is a nice blend of complementary and gentle, tasty ingredients. This soup is a well rounded meal nutritionally.
Kids seem to enjoy it, and leftovers taste even better than the original.
It’s basically a chunky vegan leek chowder, with added lentils and squash of your choice.
Seasoned with bay leaves, thyme, poultry seasoning, or ground savoury.
Onion and garlic free.
Butternut Squash, Kabocha Squash, Pumpkin or other Sweet Squash Work Well
Multiple kinds of squash work in this recipe, especially the sweeter ones.
Leeks and the potatoes make a tasty soup, adding dried split lentils and squash is a great addition.
I make this soup regularly, using a different squash each time.
When you are done the soup looks like this in the pot
It is hearty, and chunky and very satisfying!
Ready in about 45 minutes
This soup recipe takes about 45 minutes to make, including baking or steaming a pumpkin or another type of squash.
See the recipe below for instructions and images to help you understand the easy steps to make this soup.
A simple vegan dinner recipe with leeks, potatoes, lentils, and squash
Do you ever buy healthy vegetables like leeks and butternut squash, kabocha squash, or acorn squash, then look for recipes to make?
3 leeks are needed to make this comforting and thick potato soup for 6 servings.
Using both the white and the green part of the leeks.
What are leeks?
Leeks look like huge green onions, like they are from the dinosaur era.
Leeks are usually very sandy – as they grow best in sandy soil.
Follow the simple recipe tips to get all the dirt off them.
Leftovers of this soup are a great vegan lunch for kids
The soup tastes even better the next day!
Lentils and squash make potato leek soup better
Originally this recipe contained only potatoes and leeks, but it wasn’t quite filling enough for dinner.
So, I experimented with adding lentils, which made it better, but the soup was still kind of boring.
Adding pumpkin was the answer, the soup became filling, tastier, and more interesting.
If you don’t have pumpkin, adding butternut squash or kabocha squash or acorn squash will work also.
How to get kids to eat pumpkin or squash?
You may enjoy eating pumpkin or squash plain, but in my family, we prefer to hide it in delicious meals.
Because let’s face it, a lot of people think squash is gross.
This soup contains hidden squash, which adds bulk to it, and tastes really good!
Therefore, people (especially kids and spouses) don’t realize they are eating squash.
Keep dried red lentils in your pantry
If you keep a big bag of dried red split lentils in your cupboard, you have a way to easily and quickly add a mild tasting protein to many recipes in 20 minutes.
Lentils seem to adapt to the flavour of the dish, and do not overpower it. They also lose their shape, and don’t have the same texture as canned lentils or beans. They are milder and difficult to notice.
How to cook dry red split lentils
It’s so easy to use dried split lentils, when making a thick soup. Being split makes them thinner, and they cook much faster than whole dried lentils.
You can put about 4 cups water in a wide saucepan, add 1 1/4 cups rinsed dried red split lentils, let it simmer for 15 – 20 minutes on medium low heat, while preparing, and adding, the rest of your ingredients.
What types of squash can you use for this healthy potato leek soup?
You only need about 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin or squash.
All of the most common varieties of squash should work, including canned unsweetened pumpkin.
- carving pumpkin – is what I used for the soup in the bowls for the photos, was perfect texture and just sweet enough
- kabocha – perfect texture, quite sweet
- acorn – perfect texture, less sweet
- butternut – firm texture, make sure is cooked through so you can mash it in
- delicata – haven’t tried it
- hubbard – haven’t tried it (let me know!)
- sugar pumpkins – should work, (these are firmer, sweeter, and less stringy than the larger carving pumpkins).
- spaghetti squash – won’t add much sweet or flavour, quite wet – would be my least recommended type of squash for this dish
See this site for lots of great info about winter squash
Benefits of eating pumpkin or squash?
Squash contains many important nutrients like:
- Carotenoids: beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), lutein, zeaxanthin
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Stop muscle cramps with squash – it has more potassium than bananas
Potassium helps with muscle function and firing – for example preventing muscle cramps in our legs, and feet, and helping lesson the pain from menstrual cramps.
Here is a good site to learn about potassium in foods.
I have learned I feel incredibly awesome after eating squash – like for the next couple of days!
Red Lentil Soup with Potatoes, Leeks, and Squash - Well Balanced Vegan Meal
- Large soup pot
Instructions and Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups butternut squash or kabocha squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin
- 3 leeks Leeks look like huge green onions.
- 1 cup red lentils dry measure
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning or ground savoury
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground savoury or herbs de provence
- 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 4 cups potatoes cubed and peeled
1) Roast or steam the pumpkin or squash
- Roast: cut a sweet squash (pumpkin, acorn, or kabocha are good choices for example) in half and roast the 2 halves face down in the oven at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
- Microwave steam: cut up squash into pieces and place in a large covered microwave dish with 1/2 cup water. Microwave on high for about 20 - 25 minutes until the flesh is soft (can be pierced easily with a fork).
- With either method, leave the peel on, and don't scoop the seeds out until after cooking. Except Butternut Squash - peel first with a potato peeler because it's peel is very thin.
2) While the squash cooks, cut and clean the leeks
- Slice leeks lengthwise in half, then slice into thin half rounds, Use the entire leek (green and white).
- Clean the leeks really well, you can put the sliced pieces in a colander and rinse them in a sink, while moving them around, to get all the sand / dirt off of them.
3) Measure and rinse the dry red lentils
- I rinse my dry lentils with hot water, because then it is easier to get them out of the strainer.
4) Add leeks, dry red lentils, and vegetable broth to a large wide saucepan on high heat.
5) Add seasonings to saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then cover saucepan and simmer on low.
6) Peel potatoes and dice into small cubes - while the lentils and leeks simmer - for at least 10 minutes.
7) Stir potatoes into the soup pot
- Turn heat temporarily up to med-high to get it bubbling again, then reduce to low.
8) Cover and simmer potatoes and leeks and lentils for another 10 minutes, until potatoes are almost soft.
9) Remove squash from oven or microwave, scoop squash seeds and strings out of cooked squash and discard.
10) Scoop 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin or squash out of cooked peel.
- Careful not to burn yourself. The pumpkin / squash will cool a bit if you cut it into smaller pieces before scooping out the flesh.
11) Stir Cooked Squash into the soup pot.
- Once soup is bubbling again, let it simmer for at least 5 minutes to blend the flavours into the squash.
- Use a hand held manual potato masher in the pot to reduce the size of some of the potato and squash pieces if you like. Leaving some chunks.
Serve in bowls
- Garnished with fresh parsley if desired!
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