It’s the first days of Spring now and I’m getting ready to say farewell to my beloved fruit, pumpkin until next winter! I thought bidding farewell to pumpkin with this beautifully colored, tasty and healthy soup might be a good idea. 

This is a recipe I came across years ago in a monthly food magazine I used to read with great pleasure. There weren’t as many blogs or other sources of information on the Internet those days, so I used to buy lots of food magazines and made a real collection of them as well as countless books on food culture and cooking. Anyway, soup is not a conventional way to consume pumpkin in my country. But I reckon it shouldn’t sound that odd since we make jam from eggplant! 

This is a thick, wholesome, nutritious and most satisfying soup especially on cold winter days. The addition of pomegranate sour and possibly a little bit of chili pepper at the end gives it a sensational flavor combination of sweet, sour and hot! I suggest serving it with some homemade croutons or ovenbaked tortilla chips and maybe a drizzle of paprika infused oil or sizzling butter. You can also add some fresh rosemary since it pairs so well with the flavor of pumpkin. Whichever way you choose to serve this soup I definitely suggest you put a dollop of strained yoghurt, labneh or fresh cream on top. I also suggest having relatively small servings of this soup since it is like a meal in itself! So come on and try this hearty soup before pumpkin is out of season! 

Ingredients

(yields about 4 servings)

  • 350-400 gr (a little less than one pound) pumpkin
  • ¼ cup red lentils
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Milk and water (or vegetable or beef broth)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Nutmeg, pinch of sugar
  • Red pepper flakes or chili pepper
  • 1-2 tsp pomegranate sour

Step by step method

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  1. Place a pot over medium heat, add olive oil and toss onions for a couple of minutes. Then add pumpkin cut into chunks. Wash and drain red lentils and add them to the pot. Now add enough milk to cover the ingredients and lower heat once it comes to a boil.
  2. Cook with lid on until pumpkin chunks become tender enough to mash. Blend with a spoon every now and then to prevent mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot and add some hot water (or broth) during cooking time as necessary.
  3. Once pumpkin chunks have become tender enough and red lentils have cooked thoroughly take pot off the heat for a while and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Or transfer mixture to counter top blender preferably with a glass jar, blend and transfer back to pot.

  4. Place pot back on stove, add spices except for pomegranate sour. Adjust all spices to your taste. Also add more hot water or broth to dilute soup if you find it’s too thick.
  5. Finally take off heat, add the pomegranate sour, taste and adjust amount to your preference. And serve immediately.

Bon Appétit!