So although Winter in Queensland right now is not so cold and really quite warm, I'm still getting into the soup/stew/comfort food type of mood. I love that a bowl of soup can yield so much nutritional value when made with quality ingredients and I love that you can make a big pot of soup that will serve dinners and lunches for a few days. You can pop all of your ingredients for a stew in the slow cooker in the morning, ignore it for the rest of the day and have a delicious meal ready at dinner time. I really find winter time the best time for making convenient, low cost and healthy meals.
Quite often we will have an organic roast chicken (costing roughly $25 for a whole organic chook) on a Sunday. The following day I will then use the chicken for lunches (sandwiches, wraps, salads etc) and the carcass to make an organic chicken broth that serves as the base for a chicken, corn and noodle soup. This soup ends up giving either 2 dinners or a dinner and a lunch for a family of 4. So for just over $25 you're getting 4 meals for 4 people. How good is that?! In case you're wondering, I will be posting the recipe for my roast chicken and chicken, corn and noodle soup at some stage soon so stay tuned. Note: If you're vegan or vegetarian you might want to check out my homemade vegetable broth.
This recipe for my Pumpkin and Lentil Soup doesn't require a broth, which does make it quick and easy to make. This soup is fantastic for helping out that immune system of yours this winter as it has some beautiful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients including turmeric and ginger. Pumpkin is high in an antioxidant called Beta-carotene, which is the precursor to Vitamin A. Both nutrients are highly beneficial for the immune system and act as antioxidants, helping to reduce oxidative damage. In addition, Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy mucous membranes and reduce inflammation, making it a very important nutrient for anyone who suffers from Asthma.
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did. I found it delicious served with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a handful of fresh coriander. A slice of nice fresh spelt sourdough would go down a treat also!
- ¼ japanese pumpkin roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 1 brown onion finely diced
- 1 knob butter OR
- 1 tblsp extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 cup lentils
- 4 cups water
- sea salt to season
- Melt butter or coconut oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute until onions are translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and continue to stir frequently. Cook spices with onion mixture until the aroma from the spices are released.
- Add pumpkin and stir until pumpkin begins to soften around the outsides.
- Add the lentils and water and bring to the boil.
- Reduce soup to a simmer until pumpkin and lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and using either a stick blender or a heat resistant food processor blend until smooth.