Lentil soup for the soul

Melbourne summers can be like a bad relationship.  Moods run hot to cold, balmy to dry – bringing drought and rain unexpectedly.  Melbourne is my muse, and I would never live anywhere else for too long, but the unpredictability of the weather and mood swings can get to me sometimes.

It’s a strange night where it’s dumped rain after a long drought.  Nights like these I lose all appetite for summer salads and BBQs, but hearty food like lamb shanks are still well off the menu.  Enter a warming, soothing lentil and pumpkin soup.  It’s soulful, a little bitey, creamy and spicy.  Perfect food on a weary day while I close my eyes, listen to The Robert Glasper Experiment and sip on a glass of Pinot.

I cook it in my new toy, the Thermomix TM31. I don’t profess to understand how this thing works just yet, but it makes light work of soups.  The added bonus is that I get to write this post and listen to my iPod while the thing cooks my dinner for me.

Lentil and pumpkin soup.  It ain’t fancy, but it’s wholesome and soothing.
Picture of pumpkin and lentil soup in a bowl

Recipe –  Spiced lentil and pumpkin soup

Serves 4
1/4 Jap pumpkin, cubed
3/4 cup red lentils
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt
1 tbsp powdered stock
1 litre water (adjust as necessary)
1-2 tbsps coconut cream
Garnish with fresh coriander

Method (for Thermomix)

Place onion and garlic in TM bowl and blend for 2 mins, speed 6.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sautee for 4 mins at 100 degrees, speed 1.  Add lentils, cubed pumpkin, spices, salt, stock and water.  Cook for 18 mins at 100 degrees, speed 1.  Be careful as it will spill out quite a bit.  To blend, add coconut cream and start on speed 1, working slowly up to speed 7.  Blend for 30 seconds, or less if you prefer your soup chunkier.  Add coriander to serve.

Method (OG style)

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot.  After 3 minutes or so, add pumpkin and lentils and sautee for 1 minute.  Add spices, salt, water and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Add coconut cream and blend with Bamix or food processor until smooth.  Add coriander to serve.

Check seasoning and adjust if you need to.

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