It's no secret that I'm not a fan of winter.
I may have been a "winter baby", but apparently I never got the memo that you should love the season you're born in as I spent my whole life wishing I had a summer birthday so I could enjoy pool parties and warm evenings laughing with friends outside.
But there is one thing I love about winter..... soup.
Whilst I used to hate soup as a kid, when Jesse first moved here I started experimenting with different soups and found that apparently my tastes had changed (or I just didn't like my Mum's soup... sorry Mum!) and I had a newfound love for love for all things soupy!
But whilst I love all types of soup, there's one that I look forward to every year when the weather starts to get cooler - pumpkin soup!
We're really lucky in that we have an awesome Organic Foodies market just 20 minutes from our house (and on the last Friday of every month it's just FIVE minutes from our house!) where there are plenty of great veggie growers to chat to and buy from.
Each Autumn (or Fall, if you're in the US or Canada), we look forward to when the first new season pumpkins start popping up at the market as we know they've literally been picked that morning and taste way better than anything you get in the grocery store - and each year when those pumpkins arrive in our kitchen, we make soup!
So let me share this simple but delicious soup recipe with you! >>
Healthy Butternut Pumpkin and Lentil Soup Recipe
low fat, gluten free, clean eating friendly, vegan option,
dairy free option, egg free, nut free & so easy to make!
serves 3-4, depending on serving size
1 medium onion (or one leek if you tolerate that better)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I tend to use way more but I love garlic)
1 tbsp (15g) butter or neutral tasting oil
~ 3 cups cubed butternut pumpkin/squash *see notes
3/4 cup (100g) gluten free lentils (many lentils you find in the supermarket are not gluten free, however, this is one of the few brands we've found that is!)
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse your lentils and set aside.
- In a medium/large saucepan, saute your onion and garlic in your butter/oil until fragrant and golden (if we're making this in the Cuisine Companion we launch the P1 Slow Cooker program for 5 minutes)
- Add in your pumpkin, lentils and chicken stock. If it doesn't look like there's enough liquid, add a little more stock, however, the pumpkin will cook down.
- Bring to the boil, cover your pot with a lid and reduce to a simmer (in the Cuisine Companion, launch the P2 slow cooker program without the stopper).
- Once your pumpkin is soft and cooked through, puree your soup with an immersion blender/stick mixer or carefully pour the soup into your blender (in the Cuisine Companion simply reset the machine, add the stopper and process on S11-12 with the kneading/crushing blade for ~1 min)
- Season your soup to taste with salt and pepper and any additional seasonings you like. We usually add fresh herbs (parsley and basil are what we tend to use) and a few dollops of greek yogurt for flavour and creaminess.
- If needed, return your soup to the pot to reduce further or serve immediately. We tend to add only 2 cups of liquid so it's the perfect thickness, however, if you like your soup thinner, be sure to add extra liquid.
- This soup freezes perfectly (just freeze single portions in zip lock bags/freezer safe container so it's easier to reheat) and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Serve topped with a dollop of greek yogurt, cream or whatever you fancy! (My Mum always adds cream and nutmeg whilst I prefer fresh herbs and tangy greek yogurt!).
*I don't tend to measure the pumpkin in this and instead, just throw in 3/4 to a whole small butternut squash, peeled and cubed - last time we weighed it and it was around 700g - just add more/less stock depending on how much pumpkin you use.
But tell me, what season is your favourite?
And what's your favourite warm and comforting food when the weather is cooler?