I have numerous Pumpkin Soups that I love, including this definite favourite. But today, as I am on a Clean-out-the-pantry drive, and because I am restricting shopping trips because of COVID-19 (as I write this), and because there are lentils wanting to be used up – it is a day for a soup with pumpkin and lentils.
Use any lentils in this soup. Toor dal, channa dal, chickpeas and split peas are all good candidates. You could use the small split fava beans too. Brown lentils, puy lentils, beluga lentils, whole red lentils (masoor dal), horsegram, matki beans – all are good. I am using some end-of-the-packet beluga today. They make for a dark soup – if this is difficult for you, just add plenty of chopped herbs as a garnish.
Some lentil types will break down and make a thick broth for the soup, others are more likely to hold their shape. Either will work well with this soup.
In the recipe I specify chopped tomatoes – but more often than not I use a tomato puree from the freezer. In Autumn I usually stock up with a variety of cooked and raw tomato purees, pastes etc, for use over Winter when tomatoes are at their least flavoursome. Feel free to use good quality tinned, chopped tomatoes too.
Pumpkin Soup with Lentils
1 cup of lentils of your choice
5 cups light vegetable stock or water
dash olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
0.5 carrot, finely chopped
225g butternut pumpkin (or other suitable pumpkin), peeled and chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
1 tspn dried oregano
1 Tblspn fresh coriander leaves, chopped
0.5 tspn cumin powder
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
chilli powder, to taste
coriander, chopped, or other fresh, soft herbs, chopped
Soak the lentils overnight, then drain and rinse. Simmer them with the water in a large saucepan until tender. The time will vary for the type of lentil used. Do not drain.
In another pan, melt the butter with a splash of olive oil and saute the onion, celery and carrot until soft and golden but not browned. Add the pumpkin, tomatoes, herbs, cumin, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Bring to the boil, and add to the cooked lentils with their cooking water.
Simmer gently for about 20 mins until the pumpkin is tender, adding more water if the soup is too thick.
Garnish with chopped herbs and serve.