Place folded damp paper towels under your cutting board to make a secure surface for cutting the butternut squash. Carefully peel and cut squash into 2 inch chunks, remove and discard seeds. Peel onion and cut into 1 inch chunks. Peel carrot and slice into ½ inch rounds. Peel garlic. Place all prepared vegetables onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle over canola oil and season with salt, paprika, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Toss until everything is evenly coated. Roast at 375F for 40 - 45 minutes or until fork tender.
Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and let cool slightly before handling, meanwhile chop the apple. Transfer all roasted vegetables to a large dutch oven or stock pot along with lentils, apple and stock. Turn heat up to medium high and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until apples are soft. Stir occasionally so lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Let soup cool slightly, then using an immersion blender, puree until no chunks remain. Stir in 1 cup of water if too thick, season with salt if desired. Ladle soup into oven proof soup bowls, place bowls on a baking sheet. Cut cornbread into 1 inch chunks and divide evenly on top of soup. Divide cheese overtop and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and melted. Garnish with chives, enjoy!
Note: If you do not have an immersion blender you can use a normal blender, working in batches and not filling the blender all the way up. Make sure the mixture is slightly cooled before blending.
Need easy dinner ideas?
These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)