With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to utilize one of the most underrated and versatile ingredients. Readily available this time of year, pumpkins have a sweet, earthy flavor that works great in a wide range of dishes, especially soups. Don’t confuse using fresh pumpkin with that canned stuff though, just a small amount of prep work with a “Pie Pumpkin” will make all the difference in the world… and they make a nice serving dish too!
More often than not, we associate cooking pumpkins with making pumpkin pie. While the dessert is delicious in its’ own right, pumpkin works just as well in many other dishes. This recipe uses Hurst’s® Confetti Lentil Soupreme™ as the base and adds the sweet “fall flavors” of cinnamon and allspice, as well as a little bit of heat from cumin and cayenne pepper. The result is a deliciously rich and creamy soup that not only tastes great on an early fall evening, but is incredibly healthy for you as well.
What you need:
1- Package Hurst’s® Confetti Lentil Soupreme™
8- Cups of water or stock
1- Whole “Pie Pumpkin” or “Cooking Pumpkin”, skinned, seeded, and cubed (should produce about 4 cups)
1- Cup diced onion
2- Cloves garlic, smashed tsp cumin
2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2- Cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Place lentils in a colander or sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set aside.
2. Dice the onion into 1/2″ pieces and set aside. Cut the pumpkin (serrated knife works best) in half length-wise. Using a spoon, carve out the soft “stringy” insides along with the seeds. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the outside. Chop the remaining halves into 1/2″-1″ pieces.
3. In a large soup pot (or Dutch oven), turn the heat to medium-high and sauté the pumpkin, onion, and garlic with the olive oil and butter. Cook until the onion becomes translucent and the pumpkin begins to brown slightly.
4. Add the water or stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the lentils, 1/2 of Hurst’s flavor packet, and the rest of the dry seasonings. Reduce the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
5. (OPTIONAL STEP) At this point, if you would prefer a chunky style soup, skip ahead to the next step. Otherwise, using a submersion blender (or a food processor/ regular blender) puree the mixture until smooth or you reach a desired consistency.
6. Stir in the heavy cream until completely incorporated.
7. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh ground pepper.
This recipe easily makes 10-12 servings and freezes very well too… Enjoy!
Pumpkin Lentil Soup is my submission for this month’s My Legume Love Affair: 16th Helping. Our host this month is Cook Sister!, so be sure to check out the results and send in your recipes! As always, Hurst’s is proud to sponsor the MLLA event and will provide the usual 6 pack of beans to the winner!