How to make slimming Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup in minutes

Remember that survey I sent you a week ago? Holy happenin’ results.  A high percentage of responses are asking for more recipes and lots more details about a plant-based food plan.

Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup with Espresso Al Cioccolato Bread

Many responders also wanted to know more about what I eat each day to be healthy, energetic, trim…and have that happy relationship with food, eating, and my body.

Well, I’m not shy about ANY of these topics – as you must know by now I’m an open book on all of it.

I tell you the  triumphs as well as the blunders. And it all tips in the favor of WIN when it comes to whole-food, plant-based, low fat eating.

It will get you where you want to go without that gnawing hunger or crazy-crazy body crushing exercise.

Yesterday, I turned the spotlight on lentils to remind you what a power food they are when it comes to the rules of satiety and its high value as your weight loss friend. Starch  of the highest order. Brimming with plant protein and phytonutrients. I know they sure help me keep my weight in check as winter draws its cooler blanket around us.

Here is today’s menu and a new recipe I threw together brimming with those very same lentils, too.  Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup is yummers of the highest order – I’ll start there!

Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup

  • 3 cups orange lentils, soaked a couple of hours
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped jicama
  • 2 big carrots, sliced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into bitesized chunks
  • 1/2 head coarsely chopped kale

Put the lentils in a pressure cooker with more water so that it is several inches deep over the lentils.  Pile in the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to pressure for only 2 minutes, then run the cooker under cold water to bring the pressure down.

Remove the lid and flavor with:

  • 2 teaspoons curry vindaloo powder (or your favorite curry)
  • 1 teaspoon smokey paprika powder
  • 1 Tablespoon veggie bouillion base, OR 1/4 cup miso paste mixed with water, OR veggie br
  • Option to tear up a few more shreds of kale and stir them in to nutrify the soup a tad more

Today’s menu:  What’s on my plate?

Breakfast:   We attended a health fair this morning that demanded a 12 hour fast (you know the drill) so brekkie was a little later than usual:

  • big bowl of muesli, shredded wheat, and crispy Uncle Sam’s cereal topped with a chopped fresh pear, a splash of oat milk.

Lunch:  Pictured!  The Smokey Butternut Lentil Soup and the bread as in picture.

Let me explain about the bread.  I had never seen anything like it yet as I was leaving Napa last weekend upon the wrap of the Muscles Mud and Merlot VIP Women’s Retreat, I popped into Whole Foods Market and saw this beauty.  Made locally in Sonoma, here is the ingredients list:

  1. 100% organic whole rye stone ground just before making the dough (it says that on the label!
  2. slow natural fermentation (no yeast, no dairy, no gmo – it says that too)
  3. raisins, coffee, cocoa, unfiltered molasses, sea salt, certified organic

This bread is uber-heavy – like a brick – and is actually not sweet.  An of-the-earth rye and the 2 small, thin slices pictured are all you want or need.  Usually my bread at lunch is plain whole grain flour, water and salt or sprouted grain bread, so this was out of the norm and totally fun.


  • huge salad bowl of spinach, sliced beets, with a light dressing of no-oil balsamic viniagrette and tossed with nutritional yeast
  • large plate of brown jasmine rice ( maybe 1  1/2 cups or so?), a couple of cups of steamed broccoli, a handful of seasoned tofu chunks, and a thin drizzle of sauce made from tahini thinned with lemon juice

There you have it!   Click into comments below and tell all about your favorite Fall soup ideas.  Then share this page with a friend via facebook, twitter, linkedIn or email.

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  1. This sound soooo good and the picture is beautiful! Where did you get the curry and the paprika?

    I love soup in the winter too and this looks different from anything I’ve tried before. Thanks for the inspiration and I also like seeing what you eat through the day, it helps me out.

    • Lani

      Jennifer, I got the curry and paprika in a fresh spice market in Napa last weekend at the Muscles Mud and Merlot Retreat. They gave me their card and said I could order online, so I’ll dig that up and get back to you! It is sooo fresh!

      Thanks for your post today!

  2. Hi Lani!!

    What a great recipe! This will be on my list of try-outs for next week. Butternut squash is definitely one of my favourite winter veg. I wondered if you could share the recipe for your no-oil balsamic vinaigrette, I’m afraid that no-oil salad dressing hasn’t made it yet to UK supermarkets… Thanks again for the inspiration!

    • Lani

      Solene, if you get a chance to get your hands on some smokey paprika, jump! I’d never had it before and added it to this mix – faboo.

      The no-oil viniagrette is a purchase. At least theone I used that day. BUT if you get a good balsamic, it can stand on its own. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle on lime or lemon juice and that works too. Or blend it up with some softened dates if you need something sweeter.

  3. Ooh, I am SO making this! I have all the ingredients, and LOVE soups of all kinds. My favorite season is fall, and the main reason for that is SOUP WEATHER! *drool* thanks for posting :)

    • Lani

      Hey bunsofaluminum, now THAT is soup enthusiasm! Let me know how your soup comes out. And by the way, have you any shortcuts, suggestions or otherwise advice for the easiest way to peel butternut squash? I love it yet am always daunted by the peel factor. Thanks for posting!

      • soup is magic. You cut up some vegs, some seasonings, some liquid, in a pot. It looks just like vegs and seasonings, floating around in water…until you boil it for 30 minutes or so. It turns into a delicious, filling, warm, wonderful MEAL!

        So I made it, and it is delicious! I want to put more smoke in it, but the lentil flavor is so good. They’re so sweet and nutty! mmmm, yummy. :) and it made a LOT. I’ll be able to freeze two gallon ziplocs for later, and still have plenty for some meals this week. Over baked potatoes? Ooh, baby!

        peeling butternut squash. Nope. Never have figured out anything besides hand peeling with a peeler. I do sometimes bake a squash before using it, depending on what I need it for. That softens everything, and you just scrape the meat off of the rind when it’s cooled down. It would probably be okay to use that method for this recipe. The squash would just be added at the end with the extra handful of kale…maybe…

        • Lani

          Hey bunsof- thanks so much for getting back to me with your report and stroke of genius with using this as potato topper! I’ve baked the squash first as you suggest too – yet it’s nice to have it all cooked with the soup at the same time. As for peeling, my peeler doesn’t seem to be up to the task and I need to use a knife! Maybe I need a more industrial strength peeler?

          • This recipe looks amazing, and I love that after soaking, it only takes a few minutes with a pressure cooker. That is one purchase I WILL be making shortly.
            As far as peeling butternut, I’ve found that the best way is to cut the bulb off. Then, cut the cylindrical piece in half, and then each half into strips, about one inch thick. Then, it is easy to simply cut the rind off by turning it on its side. Next, just a few chops and its all cubed. For the bulb, well, that’s a little more difficult, but you could use the same process. Peeling with a veggie peeler is just too hard and the little bugger tends to slip all over the darn place.
            Can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks again!

          • Lani

            Karen – thanks for the peeling tips. I guess I just have to bite the bullet on this one, there’s no quick and easy way other than throw the whole thing in the oven and scoop it out! I DO love chunks of butternut though. Heck, it’s even fun to say!

      • Hi Lani… Costco has PEELED and nicely chopped butternut squash
        It’s usually in that big refrigerator room with all the fresh veggies.
        This so great because I find I actually use it if it is taking up room in my fridge!
        Smoked paprika has gone pretty main stream here.. Just saw it @Loblaws in the spice section so definitely available to the masses north of the 49th!
        Happy Thanksgiving… Ours is all over and done with so we have time to help Santa!!

  4. Since I don’t have a pressure cooker, any clue how long I should cook it in a normal pot and lid?

    • Lani

      Just as long as the lentils take. If using the small orange ones, probably 30 minutes unless you’ve pre-soaked them. Brown lentils might take 40 mins or more, again depending on how dry they are and if you have soaked them at all. This would be plenty of time to get the butternut squash cooked, too. So if you allow an hour, from start to finish ( and the lentils can be cooking while you are chopping and adding veggies), you should be good to go.

  5. FYI, I recently got Smoked Paprika at Costco, in their spice section.

    • Lani

      Oh! Thanks Chuck – now report in, how is it?

  6. This will be on my to-do list for this week! I love lentils and this soup looks and sounds divine!

    • Lani

      Jainnie, it’s become a baseline for me – except I ran myself out of smokey paprika! Oh dear!



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