Easy, hearty, Middle Eastern-inspired lentil pumpkin soup. The flavors in this humble bowl will surprise you!
This lentil pumpkin soup almost defies expectations.
For starters, this pumpkin soup isn’t an all-day affair, nor does it require a ton of work to prepare. With a major shortcut–namely canned pumpkin puree–the cooking is almost painless.
Pumpkin Soup with a Middle Eastern Twist!
But this satisfying pumpkin soup, augmented with hearty red lentils, also features great Middle Eastern flavors. Coriander. Cumin (which my mother considers a must in any dish with lentils or beans). And a pinch of turmeric. Providing earthy flavors, bold enough but not over-powering.
The final touches here as just as important. Fresh lemon juice adds zest, and a handful of gold raisins adds very subtle sweetness. The highlight for me though, and I highly recommend you don’t skip this, is homemade zhoug (a popular spicy cilantro pesto). A spoonful of zhoug stirred in simply wakes everything up!
WATCH HOW TO MAKE THIS LENTIL PUMPKIN SOUP
- 1 Zhoug pesto recipe
- Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 tsp organic ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp organic ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp organic ground turmeric
- 1 cup red lentils
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 3 1/2 cups quality vegetable broth, low-sodium preferred
- 2-3 tbsp gold raisins
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juice of
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in olive oil
- Jalapeno slices for garnish (optional)
- Make the zhoug spicy cilantro pesto according to this recipe. Set aside for now.
- In a 5-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven like this one, heat 2 tbsp Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden and translucent, tossing regularly. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, turmeric. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant (4 minutes or so).
- Add the lentils, pumpkin puree, broth and a little salt. Stir to combine.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
- Now reduce heat to medium-low, cover only part-way and cook another 15-20 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked. Occasionally stir.
- Now, carefully transfer the lentil pumpkin soup to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a blade. Puree, then return to pot over medium heat.
- Stir in raisins and fresh lemon juice. Cook another 4 minutes or so, stirring regularly. Taste and adjust salt…add a pinch more if needed. You can also adjust other spices, if you like, carefully add a little more turmeric or coriander (But remember, you’ve made zhoug pesto to add on top, so don’t overdo it)
- Divide the lentil pumkin soup into serving bowls. Top each with a teaspoon or so of zhoug spicy cilantro pesto, more raisins, and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with jalapeno slices if you like more heat. Serve hot with a side of warm pita or your favorite crusty bread.
- Recommended for this Recipe Our Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives); and our all-natural and organic coriander, cumin, and turmeric!
- SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle or create your own 6-pack or 3-pack of our all-natural or organic spices!
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