Everyone loves a warming winter soup and this Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Soup is one of the very best. Guaranteed. It’s really easy to make too and this recipe gives 6-8 servings – depends on how hungry/greedy you are… or maybe on how much running you’ve done before supper time. Either way, it makes plenty for not very much money at all and it freezes well too. Good for your pocket as well then. How great is that? And all for a spending a pleasant while in the kitchen, singing to yourself and daydreaming about your next phase of world domination. Or is that just me?
Among pumpkin’s many health benefits, it’s particularly useful for active people. Move over bananas – a cup of cooked pumpkin contains more of the important refuelling nutrient potassium (546 milligrammes to a banana’s 422mg). Potassium helps replenish electrolytes lost during exercise so a bowl of Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Soup after a chilly winter run will help get you back to fighting fitness in no time.
Incidentally, don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds – they’re full of goodness too, containing phytosterols that help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol. To cook them:
- Preheat the oven to 180C,
- Scope the pumpkin seed out, including the stringy mesh that holds them
- Place them in a sieve and run cold water on them. Separate the seeds from the mesh by hand (it’s easy to do this when the water’s running)
- Discard the mesh and place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray
- Season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally
- Allow to cool and serve as a snack or sprinkle on your soup
If you can’t find pumpkin, use butternut squash. You can cook the seeds in the same way.
This is our new favourite soup for chilly evenings and perfect packed lunches. What’s your favourite soup for winter?
- About 1kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks
- 150g red lentils (dry weight), rinsed well
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small red chilli
- Half teaspoon ground cumin
- Half teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 5 tablespoons thick coconut milk (from the top of the can)
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
- Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
- Add the spices and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the pumpkin and lentils. Stir thoroughly.
- Add the vegetable stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Add a little water if it thickens too much as it cooks.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the pumpkin and lentils are both soft - between 15 and 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and blitz until smooth in a blender or food processor (or use a stick blender).
- Return to the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk.
- Serve with an extra swirl of the coconut milk (melt it a little in the microwave if it's too thick).