Vegetarian Night: Thai Butternut Squash Lentil Soup + Zucchini Carrot Fritters
It’s been almost a month since I last posted as I have been traveling for the holidays and getting back into my routine with work and living well in Boston. Candidly, I am having so much fun in Boston that I haven’t had much time to devote to The Healthy Yuppie…I originally created it when I lived in Arkansas because I had more free time on my hands. While I would like to cook more cool meals on a regular basis, I am happy with the balance I’ve struck. I will work more to share more of the cool recipes I cook here.
With that said, I had a free Friday night so I decided to have a vegetarian night, as I had been eating chicken for almost every lunch and dinner for 2 weeks straight. I decided to combine two different recipes: A Thai Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen) and Zucchini Carrot Fritters (courtesy of Tasty). We got our first bunch of snow here in Boston this weekend so I thought there would be no better time to make a hearty, warming soup. The soup was perfectly spicy while the fritters were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I would recommend them both for anyone looking for a cold-weather vegetarian meal. Original recipe links at the bottom of this post.
Thai Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
½ tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced or diced
1 medium (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5-6 cups diced)
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
3 cups organic low sodium vegetarian broth
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 tablespoons all natural creamy peanut butter or cashew butter
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups organic spinach
Add coconut oil oil to a large pot or dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Next add in garlic, ginger and onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until onion begin to soften. Add in carrot and butternut squash cubes; saute for a few more minutes then add in the yellow curry powder and turmeric. Allow spices to cook together for 30 seconds then immediately stir in coconut milk, vegetarian broth, lentils and peanut butter. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 20 minutes until lentils soften.
After 20 minutes, transfer approximately half of the soup (about 3 cups) to a blender. It’s very important to protect your hands from steam and a potential heat explosion, so please place a clean dish towel over the lid and puree the soup until smooth. I like to start slow, then gradually increase the speed of the blender. Pour the puree back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir to combine.
Adam note: I just used an immersion blender which would work…just don’t puree the whole thing.
Finally stir the fresh spinach until just wilted. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the soup as necessary. If you like more of a umami flavor try adding another tablespoon of peanut butter, or even a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This is a soup that can do no wrong! I like to serve mine with cilantro and a handful of peanuts -- it’s also great with a little hot sauce if you prefer a little spice!
Zucchini Carrot Fritters
Prep Time: 10 minutes:
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 fritters
1 cup chickpeas
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
½ cup whole wheat panko
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
plain greek yogurt
green onion, diced
Mash chickpeas with a fork in a large bowl. Set aside.
Grate zucchini. Place in a clean dish towel or cloth.
Grate carrots. Place in a clean dish towel or cloth with zucchini.
Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Add veggies, panko, egg, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the mashed chickpeas.
Stir until completely combined.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of mixture into your hand press to compress it into a patty.
Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the underside is golden brown then flip and repeat.
Serve with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and diced green onion.