- Carefully cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place on baking sheet and roast in hot oven until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare other vegetables.
- In a large pot, add sunflower oil and diced vegetables. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and curry powder and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- When the squash is tender (test by sticking it with a fork), remove from oven and scoop out flesh with a spoon. Add to the pot.
- Continue to simmer until all vegetables are cooked. Remove pot from the stove.
- Process soup with a stick blender or transfer the mixture to a stand blender and run until very smooth. Return mixture to pot and add apples, rice, and lentils.
- Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs.
Notes: Sunflower oil brings a nutty flavor to the soup. Other oil will also work well. Any winter squash can be substituted for butternut squash. If the soup is too thick, you can thin it with a little vegetable broth.