Vegan MoFo Day 4: Curried Squash & Lentil Soup
In May, my husband and I went to a festival in Delaware. It was so unseasonably hot that we decided to trek out to Rehoboth Beach for the day, to grab some lunch and get closer to a cool breeze. We looked for a place on Happy Cow (actually, the VegOut app, could I link to any more pages?), and decided on Hobos Restaurant because Carl wanted fries. I was skeptical about the menu at first, because the only thing I really saw on the menu at the time were a few salads and wraps, but fries won, so we went.
When we arrived, I was really happy to see a sign posted at the front, telling us to inform our server if we were vegan. We asked our server about the vegan options, and Chef Gretchen actually came out to our table. She told us that she makes everything from scratch (including the seitan!), and we didn’t need to worry about animal broth, or any other hidden ingredients. So, we ordered the Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Cream, and two enormous seitan cheesesteaks. We couldn’t finish our meal, which was a shame but, since we were camping, we couldn’t really take leftovers.
The soup was perfectly spiced, and I thought about it a lot after our visit. We went to the fall edition of PDF in October, and on our way in, we had to stop by Hobos again for that magical soup. I’ve been meaning to try out my own version ever since, and this chilly and rainy fall night seemed like the perfect occasion. Hobos’ version doesn’t contain lentils or coconut, as far as I know, but I’m trying to use up stuff in my pantry, and I think my rendition is just as delicious! You could also use a few cups of cubed butternut squash and puree the soup at the end, I just happened to have some roasted acorn squash from the other night.
Curried Squash & Lentil Soup
1 TBS coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 3″ cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 TBS sweet curry powder
Flesh of 1 roasted acorn squash
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 15 oz can coconut milk
3 cans worth of vegetable broth or water (I use Better than Bouillon, so I just added the cans of water, then stirred the paste directly into the pot.
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil over medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cayenne, and curry powder, and cook, stirring constantly, for another 30 seconds. Add the acorn squash, lentils, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Taste for salt, then spoon into bowls, topped with a little chopped cilantro.