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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Masoor Zephyr Soup


Warming and comforting, this soup is lightly thickened with puréed masoor dal (split red lentils)  and potato, and flavored with saffron, lemon, and dill. It features tasty, bi-colored zephyr squash, a hybrid of crookneck, delicata and acorn squashes, but you can use any summer squash if you can’t find zephyrs.


I have to confess, last night we had 4 bowlfuls!  Soothing, tasty, digestible, this soup really hits the spot when days grow shorter and the weather turns chilly.


Prep time 20 minutes          Cooking Time 40 minutes                    Makes about 4 quarts



1 full cup masoor dal

3 small gold or russet potatoes, large dice



1 large yellow or white onion, medium dice

2 slim carrots, 3/8” slices

2 stalks celery, 3/8” slices

2 young leeks, 3/8” slices

3 cloves garlic, minced


4 young zephyr squash, 3/8” slices

2 full cups of frozen petite peas, defrosted

Juice from ½ lemon, or to taste


Big pinch saffron

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Shiro (white) miso • to taste (optional)

Plenty of dill, roughly cut


Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure. Miso powder and pastes are available online.  (,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).




Prepare the Purée

Add rinsed masoor dal and diced potatoes to a small saucepan. Cover amply with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender and the dal has dissolved – about 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender or a blender to purée. Set aside.


Steep the Saffron

Add the saffron to a small bowl. Cover with boiling water or add a few tablespoons of water and microwave for 20 seconds. Steep the saffron tea as you cook the soup.


Put Up the Soup

In a 5 or 6 quart soup pot, slowly sweat the onions, carrots, leeks, and celery over medium-low heat until veggies have softened – about 15 minutes. Keep the heat low enough to prevent carmelization of the aromatics. They should slowly release their water as they soften. If your sauté dries before your veggies has softened, add a bit of water and lower your heat.


Add garlic and cook for a minute before filling the pot 2/3 full of water. Add the zephyr slices, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer just until the squash are fork tender. It won’t take long.


Add the saffron tea.  Stir in as much of the purée as you need to create a lightly thickened soup.  Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and peas. Season to taste.


Serve hot in warmed bowls with plenty of fresh dill.  Enjoy!

Masoor Zephyr Soup