Butternut squash and red lentils make this more colorful than my usual dish. It demonstrates how steel-cut oats can replace barley or rice in soups. Cooktime is about ten minutes.

cost calories net carbs fat fiber protein sugar
~$1.361 565 59 19 24 23 6


  • large microwave-safe bowl
  • 1/4 cup dry quick steel-cut oats
  • 1/4 cup dry split red lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • garlic / garlic powder
  • italian seasoning (thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, etc)
  • 2 tsp chicken broth base
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash (I use frozen/cubed)
  • 1 cup spinach (I use frozen)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ice cubes


  • add oats, lentils, water, and seasoning to bowl
  • microwave on high until oats and lentils are tender, around 5-8 minutes
  • add vegetables
  • microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until squash is tender
  • stir in olive oil
  • stir in a few ice cubes until cool enough to eat
  • salt/pepper to taste


I usually add whatever frozen vegetables I have on hand: onions, kale, carrots, cauliflower, etc.

Like most soups, this can accept a range of flavors. For example, try lemon juice, eggs or cream, and a thickener (eg chickpea flour) for a Greek-inspired version. Or add basil, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha for a Thai flavor.

  1. steel-cut oats $2.98/24oz (Great Value, Walmart), red lentils $1.69/lb (Trader Joe’s, Trader Joe’s), spinach $2.00/16oz (store brand (frozen), local grocery), garlic powder $8.94/26oz (McCormick, Amazon), italian seasoning $4.98/6.25oz (McCormick, Amazon), broth base $3.00/12oz (Orrington Farms, Walmart), butternut squash $2.00/16oz (store brand (frozen), local grocery), olive oil $15/45oz (California Olive Ranch, Walmart)