Probably the best darn soup I’ve ever had!

Butternut Squash Soup

Yummy soup!

I had lunch today with one of my best friends (we met while in London working at the GAP, folding sweaters together…that was ages ago!) at Atlantic Grill in NYC. We ordered this butternut squash lentil soup (I initially thought it was two different choices, but no…just one amazing soup). It was delicious! So I asked our waiter, Daniel, if he could get the recipe for us. Here it is (you can bet I’ll be trying it out this weekend!). Please keep in mind that I’m not a recipe writer. Figure out timing and how much of your ingredients you’ll need through trial and error; smart cooks never need real recipes anyway! (Umm…not sure I put myself in that category, but a girl can always dream!)

Soak your lentils overnight in water. The next day, roast butternut squash with a little olive oil and salt and pepper in the oven, probably at about 375F until done. Meanwhile, chop up onions, carrots, celery, garlic, the bottom white part of the leek and sauté in a soup pot in grapeseed oil (my preference as it’s high in antioxidants and has a high smoking point) until soft. Toss in the lentils, and sauté more. While you’re doing this (and the butternut squash is still cooking), toss the rest of the vegetable parts into a separate pot with a little vegetable bouillon cube to make a vegetable stock.

Once everything is cooked, remove the peel from the butternut squash and toss in the blender (or a food processor). Toss in the lentil mixture and blend. Then drain the vegetables from the vegetable stock and mix some of the stock into the blender to make the  mixture liquidy (thick but soup-like). Add a little butter and a little heavy cream (I’ll probably skip this part as my son can’t eat dairy). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a little bread and a salad and voila! you’ve got the perfect light meal! If you try it (or your own version of it) and let me know how it goes!

By the way, this is Daniel, below,..the helpful, amazing waiter.

Valerie LatonaAbout Valerie Latona
As the former editor in chief of Shape (the active lifestyle magazine) for 5 years, I personally spoke with a lot of women (thousands over the years, from around the nation) and what I found is this: it's not easy to stay healthy, to get (and stay) fit, and to stem the weight gain tide (and even the tide of disease) that inevitably happens to us as we get older.