Creamy Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
This year we were inundated with pumpkins in the kitchen garden, the biggest of which weighed a whopping 43kg. Safe to say we had to find recipes to use them up (once we'd managed to get into them that is!). This creamy pumpkin and lentil soup was an instant hit, and it's kept us going in the cafe throughout January. It's deliciously warming and filling, perfect served with crusty bread and butter on chilly afternoons.
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds, a sprinkle of salt and sugar
100g split red lentils
1/2 small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
1L hot vegetable stock
50g creme fraiche, plus extra to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the creme fraiche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
Recipe originally from Good Food Magazine