Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Winter Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Chard Recipe

For a delicious meal this fall, you can’t go wrong with a batch of red lentil soup made with winter squash, chard, and cider syrup.

From "Ciderhouse Cookbook"
September/October 2018

  • Made with squash, spices, red lentils, and cider syrup, this tasty soup is even more flavorful topped with sour cream, cilantro, and scallions.
    Photo courtesy of Story Publishing
  • A raw green organic Kabocha squash ready to be cooked.
    Photo by Adobe Stock/Brent Hofacker
  • Adding red lentils to soup gives your meal flavor, as well as a protein boost.
    Photo by Adobe Stock/Jiri Hera

Yield: 6 servings

This soup is really a meal, thanks to the protein-rich red lentils. Well-spiced and flavorful, it can stand on its own, but it’s elevated by the addition of garnishes, which is how we feel about most soups. Try extra-virgin olive oil, thick yogurt, or sour cream for swirling on top, followed by a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and thinly sliced scallions. 


  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • 6 cloves garlic, divided
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1-1/2 cups leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup dry hard cider
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 cups water (or half water and half chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup cider syrup
  • 1 cup chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 cup whole milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt, or sour cream, for garnish (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro and thinly sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and oil a baking sheet.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face-down on the oiled baking sheet. Stick 5 of the garlic cloves (don’t remove the papery skins) into the cavities of the squash. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is completely soft.
  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery, and sweat, stirring regularly, until they begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cumin, and then add the hard cider to deglaze the pot.
  4. Scoop out the flesh of the roasted squash, and add it to the pot. Remove the skins from the roasted garlic cloves, and add the garlic to the pot, along with the lentils, bay leaf, salt, water, and cider syrup. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the bay leaf, and then, using an immersion or stand blender, puree the soup. (Let it cool a little first if you’re using a stand blender.)
  6. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the chard, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Crush the remaining clove of garlic, and add it to the soup. Slowly stir in the milk, and heat for another few minutes, making sure it doesn’t boil. Serve hot, topped with garnishes, if using.

For more cider recipes visit Apple Cider is the Perfect Ingredient for Fall Recipes.

Excerpted from Ciderhouse Cookbook © by Jonathan Carr and Nicole Blum, with Andrea Blum; photography © by Colin Price and © by Mars Vilaubi; used with permission from Storey Publishing. You can buy this book from our store: Ciderhouse Cookbook.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


click me