[ Let's celebrate pumpkin season ]
On our small city trip to Paris last week it still felt like it was summer, we’re so lucky to have such great weather. This week it’s a little colder, so I have to own up to the fact that winter is around the corner, am I ready, I don’t know. But autumn & winter do come with a lot of nice elements such as lovely veggies, evenings on the couch under a blanket, candle light dinners & long warm baths.
But going back to pumpkins, if I would have a choice I would say it’s always pumpkin season, this veggie is so versatile, perfect for use in muffins, for soups, for curries and much more. For now I wanted to make a pumpkin soup, since in this season it’s always nice to create a big pan of soup and enjoy it with friends/family on these colder evenings.
In this version I use a lot of spices that I would normally use in South-African or Indian food, spices such as coriander seed, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cumin & of course curry. These spices really go well with pumpkin & lentils.
The topping for the soup is a little less normal, I used sesame seeds, which give it a bit of a crunchy bite to the soup & I love the pairing of the nutty flavour with the rest of the ingredients. A more common choice would be pumpkinseeds, which is also a very nice combination, but do try to use sesame seeds.
This soup is vegan, sugar free & of course gluten free, enjoy!
Pumpkin soup with lentils, ginger & spices
- 1 pumpkin or butternut squash (+/- 720 gr)
- 3 onions (+/- 330 gr)
- 1 tbsps of maple syrup
- 3 tbsps of olive oil
- pepper & salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- 2 tsps of yellow mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper corns
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 2 tsps of curry powder
- 1 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
- +/- 5 cm of fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 red chili peppers
- 200 gr of orange lentils (preferably soaked overnight)
- 1 liter of boiled water
- 1 jar of canned tomatoes
- sesame seeds
- fresh coriander (cilantro)
Preheat your oven at 180° C.
First slice your onions and add to a baking tin. Then peel your pumpkin, cut into slices and add as well. Sprinkle the maple syrup & olive oil over the veggies. Add some pepper and salt according to personal taste. Peal & crush your garlic, add to the baking tin as well. Make sure all your ingredients are covered in oil & maple syrup. Put the baking tin in the oven for about 20 minutes or until soft and a little caramelised.
In the mean time start with the rest of the ingredients, if you have soaked your lentils the night before, you can use them in the soup straightaway. If not, in a pan with boiling water, add the lentils & boil until soft, set aside.
Finely chop the chili pepper & ginger, set aside. Start by making your spice mix, preferably use whole seeds & ground them yourself with a pestle. If you have one grind together the cumin, coriander & pepper corns, until you have a nice powder of spices. Add the powder to the chili, ginger mix & add the curry powder, fenugreek & mustard seeds as well.
On the stove on medium heat, in a large soup pan add some olive oil ( around 2 tbsps), then add the spice mixture & stir to make sure the spices don’t burn, when they release there flavour add in 1 liter of boiling water. Now you can add in the lentils & when ready the pumpkins, onion, garlic & fluids from the baking tin to your pan as well. Stir to combine & add in the canned tomatoes & a pinch of salt. Leave to boil on medium heat for another 10 minutes, stir from time to time to avoid burning.
The soup is ready when all ingredients are mixed & soft. If you prefer you can puree the soup with a handblender. I always do that since the cloves of garlic are still whole, otherwise you should cut them as well before adding to the soup.
Top the soup with some sesame seeds and fresh coriander. Enjoy.