Coconut & Pumpkin Spice Lentil Soup – Vegan

It’s been a little while since my last recipe post but I have a really delicious one for you today.

I first experimented with this idea back in the depths of summer when it wasn’t nearly as warmly received as it is now that the cold, dark days are here again! Nothing beats a bowl of homemade soup for autumn/winter cheer and this one is as hearty and nutritious as it is comforting.

The creaminess of coconut and pumpkin paired with sweetly fragrant spices remind me a little of pumpkin pie, and this makes me very happy. Thinking about it, this would be a great starter soup for a Thanksgiving table or even Christmas; personally I am happy to eat it all year round, using butternut squash – a seamless replacement for pumpkin.

I like to roast the pumpkin and onion first – and when I say roast, I mean toss them in the air fryer with one tablespoon of coconut oil for 15-20 minutes, shaking regularly until everything looks a bit golden and crispy. About 20 minutes in a hot oven (200c) is fine too. If you’re in a hurry, you can definitely skip this part and add the pumpkin and onion straight to the pan.

Makes 4 big bowls. 

450g pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into cubes (I leave the skin on)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil (I like to use it for the extra coconut flavour, but any oil is fine)
250g red lentils, rinsed really well
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1250ml hot vegetable stock
100ml coconut milk (I think full fat is best)
10g chunk of ginger (about thumb-sized) grated
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp fine sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)

1. Roast the pumpkin and onion as suggested in the intro above. This is optional, but it really brings out the flavour of the veg – and they don’t need to be completely cooked. Transfer the veg to a very large saucepan (one with a lid) along with an extra tablespoon of coconut oil and proceed to step 3.

2. If you haven’t pre-cooked the pumpkin and onion, simply stir-fry them gently in 2 tbsp coconut oil for 10 minutes in a very large saucepan (one with a lid).

3. Add the lentils and spices to the pan. Give everything a good stir for a minute, then add the hot vegetable stock, coconut milk, grated ginger and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and clamp the lid on.

3. Simmer for approximately 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. After 40 minutes the lentils and pumpkin should be very soft and you can either transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, or use a hand blender in the pan. If the soup seems a little too thick, you can thin it with more stock or coconut milk. Keep blending until it’s a consistency you like.

4. Now stir in 2 tsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt and black pepper (or to taste; I’m quite conservative with salt and pepper as I like to add more at the table.) Serve immediately or set aside to cool and chill – it keeps well for several days in the fridge. We like ours with a bit of coconut cream stirred in and plenty of buttered sourdough for dipping!

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