Butternut Squash Soup Topped with Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto

This is a unique take on a butternut squash soup with the cilantro coconut gouda pesto.  I made this soup a savory style instead of the classic slightly sweet style.



Recipe: Serves approx. 6 – 8 servings

  • Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper


Start by making the Cilantro Coconut Gouda Pesto. (you can do this the day before if you want)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the stem and the bottom of the squash and peel with a peeler.  Cut in half and scoop out the seeds then cut in to approx. 1 inch chunks and put in to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of each olive oil and wine.  Toss together coating the squash.

Put the squash on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes then move to top rack for 10 minutes.

While the squash is baking, dice the onion and mince the garlic.  (or use a garlic press)

Saute the onions, the garlic and olive oil.  Heat on med heat until onions are soft.

Add the wine and bullion cubes the stir until wine is reduced and set aside.

When the squash is done let cool then puree in a food processor or blender with the onions.

Transfer to a soup pot and add the remaining ingredients and cook until hot.

Mix a 1/2 a teaspoon of pesto with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil per cup of soup (or more if you like) and drizzle on top and sprinkle with paprika.

Zesty Red Lentil Tomato Soup

 The combination of red lentils and marinara is down right comforting, it literally soothes my soul!  Mix in some veggies and it’s a healthy delicious soup.


This is one of my all time favorite soups and a staples I make quite often.  Many years ago my cousin made me a soup very similar to this one, it was so good I had to recreate.  It is the perfect winter soup. It’s filling and satisfying all by itself or it with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich.


It goes great with a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a light red like a Pinot Noir.


Recipe – 8 – 12 servings


  • 1/2 White Onion (lighter sauce) or Red Onion (richer sauce)
  • 2 to 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Dry White (lighter sauce) or Red Wine (richer sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano
  • 1 Jar of Eden Organic Crushed Tomato Sauce for a rich sauce or Bionaturae for a lighter sauce.  Or a can of BPA free Muir Glen.
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

Lentils and veggies

  • 3 Cups Red Lentils
  • 12 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 Small Potatoes – 1/2 inch diced
  • 3 Large Carrots – sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh  or Frozen Corn
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – whole
  • 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to Taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or to taste (Optional)
  • Optional Garnishes – crushed red peppers, micro sprouts, fresh oregano, chili oil (olive oil & paprika)

* This soup is really good without the vegetables as well.  For extra tomato flavor double the marinara sauce.


Marinara sauce

Dice the onion and mince the garlic then put in straight sided pan with 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Saute on medium-high heat untill soft and slightly golden. About 5-7 minutes.

Add oregano, dry white or red wine and saute until wine reduces.

Add the tomato sauce and pour filtered water into the jar then shake to get all the remaining sauce from jar, pour in and stir.

Let simmer for 1/2 hour on medium-low heat.

Add 1-2 more tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and simmer for another 1/2 hour.

Lentils and veggies

While the marinara is simmering add lentils to a 5 1/2 quart soup pot, rinse thoroughly and strain.

Add the water to the lentils, potatoes, whole cloves of garlic and the bullion cubes then bring to a boil on medium-low heat.  Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.  As the starchy foam surfaces, scoop it off.

While lentils are cooking, in a medium pot add water and then a steam basket, steam carrots on high until soft and add to lentils when potatoes are soft.

After the lentils and potatoes are cooked add the marinara, corn, olive oil, salt and spices.

 Simmer on low for 20 more minutes.

It is best after a few hours or the next day.


Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zea-xanthin in them helps filtering harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.