Pumpkin Soup with Lentils

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.

Similar recipes include a French Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and a Special Pumpkin Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, Pumpkin Soups, and Tomato recipes.

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Pumpkin Milk Kootu

Today we have another of the rare Indian recipes that use milk. This recipe is one that can substitute the milk for coconut milk if that is more to your taste.

In India, milk is usually reserved for desserts, and in Ayurveda the consumption of milk with vegetables is not encouraged. In this recipe, I imagine that home cooks would use milk thickened with rice flour in place of coconut milk if that was not available.

It is best made with Indian tender pumpkin, but I have also made it with a number of our pumpkin varieties and quite love it. It is a very simple dish – pumpkin, seasoned, in milk with a simple tadka. But simple is best, no?

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See – very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Cluster Beans Kootu, Green Bean Kootu, and Brinjal Asadu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Pumpkin dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Puy Lentils with Roasted Pumpkin, Sage and Feta

Don’t you love pumpkins especially as they appear with their gorgeous colours in Autumn? For me, they are the very best decoration for the table. Autumn colours, beautiful shapes, a reminder of the delights that Autumn brings.

But eventually it has to be cooked. What is better than a salad or warm dish based on lentils and roasted pumpkin? Butternut can be used.

This is also a very excellent Xmas dish.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Simple, but I played with it a bit. He recommends butternut, I used pumpkin; he uses dolcelatte, I used feta (as I keep an amazing creamy feta in stock almost constantly), he used Puy lentils, I used a similar one that is deep and delicious in taste – stocked by my whole foods store but unlabelled. It shows how Ottolenghi’s recipes are versatile, so flexible with the ingredients that you have at hand.

The salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It can be made in advance, up to 6 hours. If you want to use tinned lentils, go for it – just skip the cooking step.

Similar recipes include Salad of Butternut and Noodles, Grilled Butternut with Walnut Salsa, and Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad.

Browse all of our Pumpkin Salads and our Puy Lentil recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Kootu with Coconut

Kootu (or Koottu) is a simple, yet delicious dish that’s made in most Tamil homes in Tamil Nadu in South India.  While it can be made at any time, it is especially important during some festivals, such as Pongal.

This kootu is different from the traditional Aviyal as the mix of ingredients is different. Each Tamil home has their own style of making this kootu and the vegetables chosen also differ from home to home. Kootu usually includes lentils and is similar to sambar and kuzhambu, but there is a variation that is similar to Aviyal in that lentils are not used but a variety of vegetables are included. Most kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and red or green chillies in a paste – sometimes spices are kept to a minimum and just a coconut paste is used.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Aviyal.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Aviyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut

Sri Lanka cuisine includes beautiful curries cooked in coconut milk, showing off the abundance of coconuts on this beautiful isle. This is another version of the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry, and in this one the flavours of coconut are layered with both roasted coconut and coconut milk. The recipe is adapted from Flavours of Sri Lanka.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Thani Kootu

Thani Kootu is a popular Thanjavur recipe traditionally prepared for Sumangali Prarthanai, Sankaranthi and other festivals. In this dish, 5 different vegetables are prepared in separate jaggery kootus – a delicious and tangy South Indian base for the vegetables which is made with tamarind, freshly ground spices and jaggery. Jaggery brings out the tanginess of the tamarind in a surprising way.

Thani means stand alone in Tamil, and this indicates how the vegetables are made into separate dishes rather than mixed together. The different Thani Kootu dishes are generally serve with plain steamed rice. The base can also be served on its own without any vegetable added. It is pretty delicious!

To make it easy to prepare these dishes we make a large pot of the base Kootu, then divide it into five. The vegetables are cooked separately, and then added to the bases. It is common today to combine the vegetables in one dish, but traditionally, five different ones were made.

By the way, Sumangali Prarthanai is a thanksgiving religious function to honour our female ancestors.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Pumpkin Milk KootuCluster Bean Jaggery Kootu, Plantain Moar Kootu, Okra Tamarind Kootu, Green Bean Kootu, and Brinjal Kootu.

Browse all of our Kootu dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic

Spinach is often paired with butternut pumpkin and it is a perfect match. We’ve been cooking this recipe for ages. Over time it has changed, simplified, adapted to the food fashions of the time. But the main ingredients have stayed the same – spinach or similar greens, butternut or jap pumpkin, mushrooms and a couple of spices. In this recipe, any greens that cook up like spinach or chard and can handle spices can be used – try some of the Asian greens and Indian greens also.

At our place we often need a quick way to use up greens from the garden – spinach, bok choy, chard, silver beet and others. Our garden can get over-run with these! This is a great dish to use them up.

The butternut pumpkin is sauteed until almost cooked before the greens are added, and the finished dish is topped with roasted or sautéed mushrooms and some roasted garlic. Delicious.

Similar dishes include 50 of our Best Garlic Recipes, Eggplant, Spinach and Sweet Potato Curry, Daikon and Golden Pumpkin Curry, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhauri, and Chinese Style Greens.

Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Pumpkin dishes. Explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This is a thick, creamy curry from Sri Lanka made from beautiful pumpkin cooked in coconut milk. It is tempered with spices and onions, adding an amazing aromatic and flavoursome note to the creamy curry.

The coconut milk base of the curry is flavoured with the Asian tropical flavours of pandan, chilli, curry leaves, Asian shallots and kaffir lime leaves. The Sri Lankan curry powder, Badapu Thuna Paha, is used too, but use a roasted curry powder if you don’t have this or don’t have time to make it. Simply roast your curry powder in a dry pan until it is aromatic and a darker colour but not burnt.

Flavours are layered so well in this curry, with unroasted chilli powder layered with the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. (BTW, if you don’t have unroasted chilli powder, grind some Indian dried red chillies, or just use the chilli powder that you have.)

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Zuppa di Zucca | Italian Pumpkin Soup

Today’s recipe is another Pumpkin Soup. This one is Italian in origin, with  potatoes and cannellini beans. It is a beautiful and velvety soup.

Actually, I am famous amongst my friends and family  for Soupe au Potiron and it remains my favourite Pumpkin Soup! However, I also love a little variety. Make today’s recipe in very cold weather, and enjoy it with crisp crunchy bread! This recipe has been around in our Winter kitchen for many, many years, and the original inspiration came from the River Cafe Cookbook.

Similar recipes include Pumpkin Soup with Lentils, Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli Borlotti, Celeriac Soup with Cheese Croûtes, Soupe au Potiron, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and Adzuki Bean, Pumpkin and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Pumpkin recipes, and our Soup recipes Our Italian recipes are here. Or check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas | And a Salad of Roasted Winter Vegetables

If you are a reader of our Winter posts you know that we love to use the oven at any time of the day. It warms the kitchen, living areas and us. Plus it fills the space with the most delicious of aromas.

This is a great dish to throw into the oven on those cold days to warm the space and provide great food. Use the roasted vegetables as a side dish, or as a hot or room temperature Winter salad with a yoghurt and cumin seed dressing.

The recipe needs enough small-diced vegetables to pile into your baking dish to a depth of 5 cm, so I use a small baking dish for this one. And we are going to slow bake them for a couple of hours, so leave yourself enough time. We often make it first thing in the morning for lunch time salads.

Similar recipes include Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Butter Braised Turnips, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan.

Or browse all of our Baked dishes, Roasted dishes, and all of our Late Winter recipes.

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