With food prices escalating, finding inexpensive ways to nourish our families can be a challenge. This is one of those recipes that meets that criteria. Not only is this soup cheap to make it is also very easy. I have based this recipe on a ‘Punjabi Lentil soup’ recipe discovered in a second hand book shop several years ago. The original ‘Punjabi Lentil soup’recipe can be made by leaving the squash/pumpkin out of the recipe, doubling the lentils and swirling a cup of yoghurt through once the soup is cooked. Great as a quick lunch especially when visitors turn up unexpectedly.
Lentils contain a range of nutrients such as fibre, folate, potassium, Iron, B1, selenium, and protein. By including pumpkin or squash in the soup we extend the range of nutrients such as vitamins C, A, E, B2 and B6 as well as calcium and zinc.
Both the lentils and the pumpkin contribute to the creaminess of the finished soup, but the soup is infinitely flexible for those that wish to add some more creaminess with the addition of milk or cream of choice (dairy, coconut, cashew etc.) I imagine it would also taste lovely with kumara instead of pumpkin- maybe I’ll try that next time.
Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
- 1 cup red lentils Soaked in water for at least an hour
- 1 medium squash or pumpkin
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2-1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 litre cold water
- 2 Tbsp ghee or cooking oil
- Peel, deseed, and chop squash/pumpkin into bite sized cubes.
- Drain lentils and set aside.
- Peel and dice onion.
- Peel and finely dice garlic cloves
- In a large pot heat Ghee or oil and add onion. Saute onion till golden then add chopped garlic. Turn heat down to medium and saute gently with lid on for 5 minutes.
- Add tumeric and cumin to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add drained lentils and diced squash/pumpkin to the pot and stir to coat with flavourings. Add 1 litre of cold water, salt and a good grind of black pepper.
- Stir mix well to ensure lentils haven't stuck to the bottom. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to the boil, with the lid on.
- Once the soup is boiling simmer gently till lentils and Squash/Pumpkin are very soft. Approximately 30 -40 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and blend with a blending stick or mash with a potato masher if you don't have a blending stick.
- Adjust for flavouring to personal preference. A little cream or Yoghurt could be stirred through at this stage if wished. You could also add more water if you would like a thinner soup.
- Reheat gently and serve.
- This soup is lovely served with a dollop of Yoghurt, a dash of sweet chilli sauce, a sprinkle of dukkah and some hot cheese toasties on the side.