Autumnal Pumpkin and Root Veg Soup

Halloween is well and truly on our doorsteps and knocking on our doors already, which can only herald the move to heartier, wintery foods. I have so far managed to avoid the lure of pumpkin spiced everything, but have been finding more savoury flavours for my squash decidedly tempting. I recently found a recipe for a pumpkin and lentil stew and really loved the idea so tweaked the recipe into a soup and incorporated some of the other season’s produce. Luckily, the veg box that I have just started ordering is full of such local goodies, including some that I wouldn’t always buy. Since I’m not quite ready to embrace the full winter season, I have spiced the flavours up to include lime and coconut milk. It is a little different to the traditional British autumnal flavours, but trust me, they lift the soup up to another level. I used butternut squash instead of pumpkin, as squashes tend to be much more flavoursome, but if you still want something to carve for the 31st, try harlequin or acorn squash, which are both spherical varieties.

Autumnal pumpkin, lentil and root vegetable soup. Perfect for fall, and for healthy on a budget. Via @eleanormayc

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 300g red lentils
  • 1.5 ltrs vegetable stock
  • 600g squash or pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1.5 ltrs vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • lime
  • coconut milk or cream
  • Handful parsley, finely chopped
Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large saucepan over and medium heat, roughly chop the onion and add to the pan. Cover, and allow to sauté until translucent. Meanwhile, chop the carrot and parsnip into small pieces before adding to the pan with the cumin. Cover again, and continue to cook for another five minutes to braze the vegetables. Then, add the lentils and around a litre of the vegetable stock, reserving the rest if needed. Cut the squash or pumpkin into 3cm chunks and add, covering with the lid and allowing to simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season to taste.
Autumnal pumpkin, lentil and root vegetable soup. Perfect for fall, and for healthy on a budget. Via @eleanormayc
When the squash is completely soft, blend the soup up until smooth, adding the extra stock if needed. Return to the hob and stir in the finely chopped parsley before pouring into bowls. Garnish with parsley leaves, squeeze over a 1/4 lime each and pour over a little coconut milk. Serve with good sourdough bread and get ready for a cosy afternoon indoors.