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Lamb & Butternut Squash Soup

with Spinach & Barley

  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    2
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 600 calories

Merguez sausage is a staple of North African, Middle Eastern and European cuisines. It’s usually made with lamb and a blend of spices, bringing a hearty, warming flavor to the dishes it’s used in. Normally, you’ll find it wrapped up in sausage casing. But in this recipe, instead of using pre-made merguez sausages, you’ll create your own by mixing the lamb with our custom spice blend—no casing required. Cooking the meat without a casing allows the flavors to infuse the butternut squash and barley. The soup’s on, chefs!

fresh
ingredients
Lamb & Butternut Squash Soup  with Spinach & Barley
Title
  • 6 oz Ground Lamb
  • ½ cup Pearled Barley
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 lb Butternut Squash
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 bunch Parsley
  • 1 bunch Thyme
  • 1 Fresh Bay Leaf
  • 2 Tbsps Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Merguez Spice Blend (Sweet Paprika, Ground Fennel Seeds, Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Ground Cinnamon & Cayenne Pepper)
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
time-saving
tips & techniques
step-by-step
instructions
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach. Halve the butternut squash lengthwise; scoop out the seeds and pulp. Using a sturdy knife, peel the squash; discard the peel. Medium dice the squash. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the parsley and thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Keep the parsley leaves whole; roughly chop the thyme leaves. In a medium bowl, combine the ground lamb and the spice blend.

Cook the lamb:
2 Cook the lamb:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned lamb and cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and slightly crispy. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 additional teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the garlic is fragrant.

Add the squash, barley & herbs:
3 Add the squash, barley & herbs:

Add the squash, barley, bay leaf, thyme and 3 cups of water to the pot of lamb and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the soup is slightly thickened and the barley is tender and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Finish the soup:
4 Finish the soup:

Using a fork, mash about one-quarter of the cooked squash pieces into the soup; stir to incorporate. Stir in the spinach and half the Parmesan cheese. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is fully incorporated.

Plate your dish:
5 Plate your dish:

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Divide the soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the parsley leaves and remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

About Blue Apron

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Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide. Our menus change every week, so with each delivery you learn to cook inventive new dishes with seasonal ingredients. By letting us source these hard-to-find ingredients for you, you'll get food that is fresher and cheaper than you can get at your local supermarket, and there's no waste because we only send you what you need for each recipe.

We named our company “Blue Apron” because chefs around the world wear blue aprons when they're learning to cook, and it has become a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking. We believe you're never done learning in the kitchen, so we design our menus to ensure you're always learning new cooking techniques, trying new cuisines, and using unique ingredients.

Blue Apron is a weekly subscription service with no commitment - you can skip a week or cancel at any time with a week's notice. We can't wait to cook with you!

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach. Halve the butternut squash lengthwise; scoop out the seeds and pulp. Using a sturdy knife, peel the squash; discard the peel. Medium dice the squash. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the parsley and thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Keep the parsley leaves whole; roughly chop the thyme leaves. In a medium bowl, combine the ground lamb and the spice blend.

2 Cook the lamb:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned lamb and cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and slightly crispy. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 additional teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the garlic is fragrant.

Cook the lamb:
Add the squash, barley & herbs:
3 Add the squash, barley & herbs:

Add the squash, barley, bay leaf, thyme and 3 cups of water to the pot of lamb and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the soup is slightly thickened and the barley is tender and cooked through. Remove from heat.

4 Finish the soup:

Using a fork, mash about one-quarter of the cooked squash pieces into the soup; stir to incorporate. Stir in the spinach and half the Parmesan cheese. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is fully incorporated.

Finish the soup:
Plate your dish:
5 Plate your dish:

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Divide the soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the parsley leaves and remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!