Hearty Lentil Soup with Winter Squash and Fennel
1 cup dried lentil
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups chicken broth
8 ounces butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, diced
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Sort and rinse lentils.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion and sauté until tender.
Dice fennel; reserve feathery tops. Add fennel to onions and sauté for 5 minutes longer.
Add lentils, fennel seeds, water and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add squash and cook for 20 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.
Finely chop fennel tops. Add to soup and cook 5 minutes. Season with pepper.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Add additional broth for a thinner consistency, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings