Whip up this simple and healthy seasonal pumpkin soup (or use squash) for the perfect autumnal bowl of comfort for lunch or as a light supper. Add a drizzle of kefir for a dose of healthy probiotic and a sprinkle of poppy seeds for a bit of crunch.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 white onions, peeled, halved
700g pumpkin or squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into cubes
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 stick celery, washed
200g/1 cup red lentils
1 x 400g tin tomatoes or tomato passata
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
Sea salt and black pepper
200ml kefir (cultured milk drink) or use natural yoghurt
1 tsp poppy seeds per bowl
Take a large 24cm pan or stock pot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and fry until slightly softened and golden brown.
Add the pumpkin, carrots and celery, stir well and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Add the red lentils, tomatoes/passata and stock to the pan. Ensure everything is covered with stock, if not, add a cupful more of water.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft (the carrots will take the longest to cook).
Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Allow the soup to cool a little and then use a stick blender to blend the soup, or transfer into a jug blender (you may need to blend in two batches)
Serve the soup with a drizzle of kefir and sprinkle over some poppy seeds, or other seeds of your choice.
Recipe by Ren Behan - Author Wild Honey and Rye at https://www.renbehan.com/recipe-pumpkin-soup-with-kefir-and-poppy-seeds/