After an inspiring, but exhausting weekend away at a food blogging conference in Toronto, I returned home to a bare refrigerator and a rather chilly kitchen.
While I highly recommend shops like Nugateau and Forno Cultura, and can’t wait to return to Bar Ravel, the weekend left me longing to cook something comforting over my own stove, but what to make from the pantry stores?
Fortunately, I still have a thriving patch of kale growing in the garden and so I gathered a generous bunch, along with a handful of fresh thyme.
I had a soup in mind, from my friend Allison’s beautiful new cookbook, Purely Pumpkin, knowing that I had a row of pumpkins on the front porch from recent outing to the pumpkin patch at a Quinn Farm. I always keep lentils in the pantry and broth in the freezer, and thus the ingredients for a simple, autumnal soup were amassed on my counter.
The Simple Lentil, Pumpkin and Kale Soup came together in under an hour, and that included hacking up a small pie pumpkin and the garden trip. Not only did the soup warm up my tummy and invigorate me to take on my tremendous to-do list, it warmed up my kitchen and introduced an inviting aroma to the whole house. Mission accomplished.
Definitely pick up a copy of Allison’s cookbook Purely Pumpkin in your local bookstore or find it on Amazon (USA) or Indigo (Canada). It’s an absolutely hunger-inducing cookbook, with creative, yet simple recipes. I’ve bookmarked quite a few to try, including the Pumpkin Spice London Fog, Pumpkin Gnocci with Mint and Garlic, and the Pumpkin Ginger Bread with Dark Chocolate and Coconut. Hungry yet?
Simple is best, especially when ingredients like pumpkin and kale are at their peak. Sure, pumpkin is delicious in desserts like pie and cheesecake swirl brownies, but is also exceptionally good in earthy, savoury dishes like today’s soup.
Take advantage of the abundance of cheap and plentiful pumpkins around at this time of the year and simmer a pot of this soup for a quick weeknight supper or a leisurely weekend lunch. And if you’re looking for another savoury pumpkin dish, try my Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice for a nourishing and spicy supper.
|Simple Lentil, Pumpkin and Kale Soup|| |
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb raw pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 L (4 cups) vegetable stock or water
- 3/4 cup dried du Puy or brown lentils
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups packed, shredded kale
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- additional fresh thyme and pepitas to garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, heat olive oil gently over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Tip in the chunked pumpkin and the thyme leaves. Cook with the onion for about a minute, then pour in all of the stock.
- Rinse the lentils in a fine sieve under cold running water, then add them to the pot. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Bring the soup up to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer soup for 25-30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and the lentils are cooked.
- Add the kale all at once, stirring well to submerge it in the broth. Pour in the vinegar. Cook the soup for another minute or two to wilt the kale. Then taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of thyme leaves, pepitas and a drizzle of olive oil.