One month into Autumn and the days have become a confused cycle of rugging up in mornings to battle the early chill, followed by stripping off the layers by midday with the sun still bringing the heat. In a few days time we will lose our extra hour of sunlight in the evening. It's beginning to feel a lot like soup weather.
After being gifted a whole pumpkin that had been grown only two doors down from our house, we knew there was only one possible outcome - pumpkin soup!
Now I love pumpkin soup just as it is, but this version includes red lentils to make it even more nutritious and filling enough to take the place of our main evening meal. Adding legumes (lentils, dried beans, chickpeas for example) to a meal provides extra protein, dietary fibre and B-group vitamins, and eating a diet that regularly includes legumes is associated with improvements in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight control and blood glucose control. For those that are not usually a fan of legumes, due to either their flavour or distinct texture, adding them into blended soups can be a great way to include them in the diet.
So as the weather continues to cool down, why not warm up with a big bowl of this Pumpkin & Red Lentil Soup.
Pumpkin & Red Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp oil
1 long red chilli
2cm fresh ginger, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1kg diced pumpkin pieces
1/2 cup red lentils
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cut the chilli in half, setting aside one half to use as a garnish. Remove the seeds from the remaining chilli, finely chop and add it to the pot along with the ginger and spring onions. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and lentils and stir.
2. Into the pot, add the stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is very soft and the lentils are tender.
3. Puree the soup using either a food processor, blender or stick blender. You may need to let the soup cool first, depending which device you use.
4. If cooled, reheat soup, then served topped with fresh coriander, the remaining sliced chilli, and a drizzle of any extra coconut milk.
- For a spicier soup, add in a teaspoon of chilli powder with the chopped chilli and ginger.