This is a big favorite of mine. It makes a great meal with bread and a salad. I like to use either regular brown or red lentils for this soup. Red lentils give a beautiful golden hue with the squash.
1. Cut the fennel into a medium dice. Roughly chop the feathery leaves, and set aside.
2. In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add diced fennel, stir to mix and sauté another 5 minutes. Add lentils, water, fennel seeds, and salt to taste. Cook partially covered for 30 minutes.
4. Add squash and cook for another 20 minutes, or until squash is tender. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the chopped fennel leaves.
5. Add a grinding of fresh black pepper and serve with a hearty slice of bread.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If there are no fennel bulbs on the market, I double the quantity of fennel seeds and cook them along with the onion to add their flavor to the oil. It’s good that way too.
If you are having oral problems such as cankers or post radiation dryness, this delicious soup can be pureed for easier swallowing by whizzing a couple of cupfuls in a blender. Let the soup cool somewhat before eating.