Nothin like a warm bowl of soup on a chilly day!
I do like to eat seasonally, but pumpkin is one of those foods that is far too good to reserve for October. In addition to being super yummy & versatile, it is packed with fibre, minerals, and vitamins such as A and C. It is also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that are believed to help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, improve eye and skin health, and protect against cancer and heart disease.
This soup uses canned pumpkin purée, but homemade is actually very simple to make and I have provided instructions below.
Lentils have a slightly nutty, earthy flavour and are rich in protein as well as soluble and insoluble fibre. They are a great source of essential minerals including magnesium, folate and iron. Studies suggest that lentil consumption can help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve digestive and possibly even cardiovascular health.
Ginger provides a little spicy kick alongside big benefits for gut & body health. It has been widely used for centuries because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, analgesic & pro-digestive effects. Research also suggests that consumption can boost immunity and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
The Organika Health Ginger Bone Broth powder is optional, but provides all the benefits of bone broth/collagen (read more about collagen and gut health here) without any muss or fuss! If you prefer to substitute your own bone broth or vegetable stock, use in place of the water and powder and increase the ginger to taste.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 Tbsp avocado oil
3/4 cup diced white onion
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 can (1 1/2 cups) organic coconut milk
2 1/2 cups water plus 3 Tbsp Organika Health Ginger Bone Broth Powder (or substitute vegetable, chicken or bone broth)
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (or more as desired)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
juice from 1/2 lemon
optional toppings: shelled hemp seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, crunchy lentils, microgreens, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or tahini, chopped fresh basil or cilantro, or toppings of choice
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until they start to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, water, bone broth powder, pumpkin, lentils, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer until lentils have softened, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
Pour into blender container and blend until smooth.
Return to pot and heat further as needed. Stir in ginger and lemon juice and serve with toppings as desired. Enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to one month.
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PURÉE
Be sure to use a pie pumpkin since they have better texture and sweetness for eating.
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and scrape out the stringy pulp and seeds. These can later be washed & roasted for a delicious healthy snack! Place flesh-side down on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the flesh is nice and tender when pierced with a fork. Cool for an hour. Then use a large spoon to scoop the pumpkin out of the skin and put it into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. This will keep for several days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months.