Serves 4 – 6
-1/2 cup water
-1 T. olive oil
-1 cup green lentils, rinsed
-5 slices ginger, 1/8-inch thick
-1 whole star anise
-6 cups water
-1 t. sea salt, plus more to taste
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 yellow onion, medium dice
-1 leek, sliced into 1/4 moons
-1 fennel bulb, medium dice
-red pepper flakes, to tastePreheat oven to 425° with rack in the top third of the oven. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Rub oil over all sides and salt the squash.
Roast cut side down (in a rimmed baking pan) with the 1/2 cup of water poured into the pan. Roast until tender, about 35-45 mins. When cool enough, scoop out cooked squash and set aside.
In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, star anise and water. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
In a large stockpot combine the olive oil, onion, leeks, fennel and additional salt. Cook covered over low heat until vegetables soften, about 7-10 minutes.
Remove the star anise and ginger slices from the lentil sauce pan, then add the lentils, lentil broth and squash to the vegetables in the stock pot. Stir well and cook for another 15 mins. or so, allowing the flavors to blend.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed. Add a few generous pinches of red pepper flakes if desired.
Serve as is, or topped with lots of garlicky homemade croutons.*
*Rip up some day-old bread into tiny pieces, douse in olive oil, garlic, and a bit of salt, and toast in a 375° oven until golden and crunchy.
Adapted from 101.cookbooks.com, 2/10