As Atlanta prepares for “Winter Storm Helena”, the grocery stores are bombarded with late comers, traffic is a hot mess, and I’m home nestled in waiting on any inkling of even one snow flurry to arrive. 🙂 And what better way to spend a snow day, than with a warm bowl of soup. The main ingredients for this soup, are a small pie pumpkin that I baked, red split lentils, ginger, garlic, coconut milk and curry. The red split lentils I’ve used most often in dahl, but this soup is a little lighter. You can certainly choose to use butternut squash or another type of winter squash, and if you’re not a fan curry then you can certainly opt to leave that out. But I love the combination of flavors that this bowl of soup has going on….it truly just warms the soul. I like to top this soup with rice or quinoa, a little cilantro, a pinch of sesame seeds or gomasio, a drizzle of olive oil, tempered spices, or/and sometimes even a drizzle of coconut milk.
Recipe: Serves 2 – 3
1/2 cup of Red Split Lentils
1 – 1 1/2 cups of Pumpkin (smashed and mixed well so that it’s not stringy) (a non-sweet can of organic pumpkin can be substituted)
1 small Onion (diced)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil
1/4 inch of Ginger (minced)
2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup of Coconut Milk (or half and half, if not vegan)
4 cups of Vegetable Broth
1 tablespoon of ground Curry powder spice (I usually use an Indian Curry, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand)
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
Sesame Seeds or Gomasio
A drizzle of Coconut Milk
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Cut small pie pumpkin in half and remove seeds and such, until pretty clean and drizzle with a little oil. Then on a lined baking sheet, bake pumpkin(face down) for 45 – 60 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool and then remove insides with a spoon and place in a small bowl. Smash and mix well until smooth and not stringy. Set to the side.
In a large pot, on a low to medium flame, heat oil and sauté onions for about 5 – 10 or until they are translucent. Then add in ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and curry powder and stir for a few minutes to get those flavors and smells going. Then add in your vegetable broth, red split lentils, smashed pumpkin and allow to simmer for at least 25 minutes. Pour in coconut milk and simmer for an additional 5 more minutes. Then carefully pour soup mixture into a blender or use an emersion blender to blend soup mixture until smooth. Then pour mixture back into pot. Add salt to taste. Ladle soup in soup bowls, add toppings and enjoy.