spicy pumpkin lentil soup

by goodnessis

the luscious lentil

A cold snap has just hit in the last few days, not only climatically but also throughout my body.  A pot of Spicy Pumpkin Lentil soup was required.  Packed with spices to warm the soul and body. Pumpkin, carrots, fennel and tomatoes added for substance and a quick puree for a thicker, smooth result. I personally like the smooth, blended soups. Pure goodness in a bowl.  It was enough to clear the head, if only for a short while.

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Spicy Pumpkin Lentil Soup

I like to use the brightest coloured pumpkin I can find as it gives better flavour and colour. I used Jap, but any other brightly coloured varieties will do. The fennel was an add-in as I recently picked the bulb from my garden to roast and had half of it left, so completely optional.  The rasum powder can be purchased from Indian specialty stores. I use a MTR brand, about A$2.50 for 200g packet.  It is a Southern Indian spice mix – a discovery from my sister who purchases it fresh from Mysore in India and uses it in her Dahls. The best pan for toasting the spices also comes from India, once again, courtesy of my sister. It is 15cm in diameter and has a rounded base, though not sure what it is called. Perfect size and also great for nuts.  Oh, and don’t be put off by the number of ingredients.

What to use:

 1kg diced pumpkin

2 diced carrots

2 -3 diced tomatoes

½ fennel bulb, diced (optional)

1 cup rinsed red lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

1 teasp. turmeric

6 curry leaves

2 teasp. ghee or olive oil

1 teasp. black mustard seeds

2 teasp. finely chopped fresh ginger

1 whole cardamom pod

1 teasp. cumin seeds

1 teasp. rasum powder

1 teasp. tamarind paste

1 tab. raw sugar

 What to do:

 Add the first 8 ingredients into large heavy- based pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, in small pan, heat ghee/olive oil on mod-high heat. Add mustard seeds and wait till pop and turn grey.  Stir occasionally. Turn off heat, add ginger and remainder of spices and stir through. Let sit for about a minute or two.

Add spice mixture to pot with tamarind paste and sugar. Turn heat off and rest until ready to serve.  Remove curry leaves and cardamom pod and puree if desired.

Salt to taste and serve with a dollop of yoghurt/labne.

Goodness shared from Donna

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