This post is sponsored by iHerb. All opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!
Tis the season for nourishing soups and stews—along with all of the sweet treats I’ve been making at home and eating by the tree.
Tis also the season for dashing hither and yon for holiday gatherings, errands, end-of-year work and school obligations, and overall seasonal commotion. It’s a tough time of year to get everything done, which makes any kind of a helping hand mightily appreciated. Today, I’m happy to be sharing a wintery butternut squash, kale, and lentil soup with herbs that features iHerb ingredients!
I’m a longtime fan of iHerb, an online storefront that carries over 30,000 natural products and ships to over 150 countries. IHerb has a lot of my favorite pantry staples, baking ingredients, and snacks in stock, and it’s incredibly easy to order from. The items are shipped quickly from climate-controlled distribution centers, to ensure their quality on delivery. And iHerb customer service is incredible: it’s available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and in ten different languages. If you’re not in the US, iHerb offers a ton of fast and economical shipping options.
Fittingly, this nourishing soup features a lot of herbs, and I was happy to stock up on them with this latest iHerb haul.
In the soup, I used bay leaf and dried thyme from Simply Organic, a brand I really like for seasonings. And, since I seem to be always running out of vegetable broth, I figured it was time to invest in a more sustainable version. Rapunzel Vegetable Broth is a dry version that dissolves in hot water whenever you need it, and there are 28 servings per container. A really great option for anyone who uses broth often for soups, risotto, or for sautéing veggies regularly—and that’s definitely me.
On the topic of seasoning, I wanted to add some savoriness to the stew, and I turned to my go-to umami bomb of choice, nutritional yeast, for that. This is my first time trying Kal nutritional yeast, and I really like it. It’s just the right flavor, the container is easy to store alongside mason jars in my pantry, and it’s economical.
Of course, another key component of the recipe (and its main protein source) was lentils. I love the heritage lentils from Bob’s Red Mill. They’re a perfect cross between regular brown lentils and smaller pardina lentils (apologies in advance if I’m getting lentil varieties crossed; there seem to be so many different ones). They hold their texture perfectly in the soup without getting very mushy, but they’re tender, too.
The recipe starts with sautéing onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil, and the olive oil I chose for the recipe was from California Olive Ranch. This is a wonderful olive oil for everyday sautéing and salad dressings, and it’s my favorite at home. I was so glad to see it available at iHerb so that I could use it in the soup. If you like, you can give the soup a small drizzle to finish, too.
Along with my soup staples, I stocked up on some other everyday foods that I love and turn to often at home. One is pasta, and when I can, I turn to a whole grain version. The kamut spirals and vegetable spirals from Eden are both tender and versatile, but also wholesome. I picked up some beans, too: cannellini beans, also from Bob’s Red Mill. I see a batch of these braised beans in my future.
Snacks and meals on-the-go were also on my mind, so I grabbed some Larabar snack bars in my favorite flavor (blueberry muffin!) and portable packs of oatmeal for mornings when I leave home early to meet my nutrition clients before they go to work. My favorites lately are maple nut and apple cinnamon from Nature’s Path Organic, and flax & chia and brown sugar & maple from Bob’s Red Mill.
Again, it’s such a treat to find all of these go-to staples in one place, with an easy checkout process and fast shipping to ease the whole process of shopping. Not to mention global distribution. At the end of the post, I’ll share a discount offer for new customers that you can use if you’d like to explore the iHerb storefront yourself.
I learned during my internship that, when one’s busier than usual, everyday tasks can start to feel overwhelming. Grocery and pantry shopping are activities that I enjoy doing in person when I have time, but they quickly transition to feeling stressful as my schedule fills up. Cooking remains important to me, though, as does having snacks and portable breakfasts to rely on. IHerb is a great resource for keeping nourishment in place even when life is hectic.
On to the recipe! This soup is basically everything I love for autumn and winter, seasoned and cooked down to comforting perfection. The butternut squash adds subtle sweetness to the stew, but otherwise it’s rich in savory, earthy, hearty flavors. I love how prominent the herbs taste, and I love how thick it is. It’s enough for a quick, working lunch, but extra filling with toast.
- 2 tablespoons California olive ranch olive oil (see note)
- 1 white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1 lb of squash after preparation)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons Simply Organic dried thyme
- 2 Simply Organic bay leaves
- 1 cup (dry) Bob’s Red Mill Heritage Lentils (substitute brown or green lentils of choice), picked over
- 9 teaspoons Rapunzel vegetable broth + 6 cups water (substitute 6 cups vegetable broth of choice)
- 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, washed, and chopped (about ½ lb after preparation)
- 2 tablespoons Kal nutritional yeast
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.
Add the squash, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, lentils, and vegetable broth powder and water (or vegetable broth) to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the kale to the pot, re-cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast and season the soup to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to add a splash of water if the soup is thicker than you like. Enjoy.
In place of the olive oil, you can use 1/3 cup additional vegetable broth for sautéing.
I can’t think of anything more comforting than this dish on a chilly night. It’s a good one to batch cook, too: the leftovers will keep up to five days in the fridge, and you can freeze them for up to 6 weeks. Which means that, if you make it just about now, it can give you easy nourishment right into the new year ?
Hope you enjoy it, friends. And I want to give you all an opportunity to enjoy iHerb and its natural selection of products, too. If you’re interested, new customers will get 10% off their first iHerb order with no minimum purchase by clicking here!
And perhaps this soup will be on your list when you do stock your pantry. Wishing you happy shopping, cooking, and self-care. See you very soon, for weekend reading.