Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

How To Create A Really Thick, Creamy Soup

I created this Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup one evening after being inspired by a deliciously thick soup I’d had at a local cafe. The soup was so thick you could literally stand a spoon up in it, which got me thinking about how I could replicate it.

To create a really thick soup the obvious choice are vegetables such a pumpkin or squash (even though they’re technically a fruit) and kumara aka sweet potato.

Lately I’ve been enjoying these vegetables baked whole in the oven. I like this method of cooking because it doesn’t require any oil and all the vegetables nutrients are retained (not lost in cooking water). Best of all, they caramelise ever so slightly and develop a beautiful, rich flavour.

Using this cooking method seemed like the perfect way to create a really thick soup. Once the vegetables are baked simply blend them with a little liquid and some seasonings, and the soup is ready to eat!

 

Why Soup Is So Fantastic

Soup really is an allrounder meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but is especially delicious on a cold day as it warms you from the inside out!

Although soup is usually served for lunch or dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this soup at breakfast too, as you would Vietnamese pho or Japanese miso.

Soup is really easy to make (at least all my recipes are ;)) and you almost always end up with leftovers/rollovers, which means lunch and dinner is sorted for days. And while soups are very filling and nourishing, they’re also light enough that your digestion will love you for it.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

My Favourite Soup Recipes

Some of my all time favourite soup recipes on here to date are: Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup which gets its creaminess from the vegetables without the addition of any coconut cream or plant milk. I love that this recipe can be adapted to any vegetables you have in your pantry or fridge or whatever’s in season.

Another favourite is this adapted Pho Ga recipe because it was inspired by our travels in Vietnam. I’d just completed my Sugar Cleanse Program when I created this recipe so I substituted the traditional rice noodles for zoodles. Now that I eat a plant based/vegan diet I would also use vegetable stock instead of chicken and sub out the chicken pieces for tofu, tempeh or toasted cashews for a soy free version.

One of the most popular soup recipes on here to date, also happens to be the first soup recipe I ever posted. This Carrot, Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping has a real ginger kick to it and the black bean topping creates a delicious contrast in texture as well as a plant based protein element. The topping idea was inspired by the amazing Green Kitchen Stories who create some of the most amazing vegetarian soups around.

 

Full Of Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Which brings me to this recipe for this Roasted Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This beautifully thick and creamy soup recipe is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. These flavourings mean this soup has very warming qualities, not to mention a heap of anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative properties.

Because it’s uber thick it feels very filling while you’re eating it, yet it’s still very light on the digestion because it’s simply blended vegetables.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentil Toppings

I’ve been loving roasted cauliflower florets with a spicy almond and chickpea flour coating which gives them a delicious crunch on the outside that yields to a soft, sweet cauliflower inside.

When thinking about what to top this super thick soup with, these little flavour morsels immediately popped into my head.

I also wanted to make sure there was a good plant based protein element in this soup so my other favourite topping is oven popped lentils! These couldn’t be easier to make. Simply drain a can of lentils, toss with spices and then bake in the oven until crunchy and just starting to “pop”. If you prefer to cook your lentils from scratch then even better!

Both these toppings are completely oil, sugar, gluten and grain free, and really pack a flavour punch!

 

Adaptable To Any Vegetables In Season Or Your Pantry

Like most of my soup recipes, this one is no exception and is another very adaptable recipe where you can swap in or out any vegetables of your choice according to what’s in season or in your pantry. Some other great root vegetable options are parsnip, carrot, beetroot (although your soup will turn red!) and potato.

This roasted pumpkin & kumara soup recipe is completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain, dairy and sugar free, and also just happens to be another 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved recipe.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

I hope you love this nourishing Pumpkin & Kumara Soup recipe as much as I do, and if you make it be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

1 small pumpkin or squash
1 extra large kumara (sweet potato)
2 cloves garlic
5 cm piece fresh ginger (or 1 tsp powder)
5 cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp powder)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper
400 ml can coconut milk

Crunchy Cauliflower
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 cup water

Popped Lentils
400 ml can lentils (or 200g freshly cooked lentils)
2 tsp spice mix (I’m loving Jen’s Goan Xacuti curry powder from Farro, but you could equally use any savoury spice mix of your choice)

To Serve
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, and place the cut side down on a baking tray. Place the kumara on the same tray and spike a couple of holes over the top with a sharp knife. Place the tray of vegetables into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce through the vegetables with a small knife. 

While the root vegetables are baking, prep the toppings.

If using canned lentils, drain, then wash to remove any unwanted debris and drain well. If cooking your own lentils, soak for 2 to 3 hours then wash well. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer 20-25 minutes, or as per the instructions on the packet. Drain well.

Toss the lentils in the spice mix and sprinkle over a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils start to crisp up and pop.

Wash the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Mix the cauliflower seasoning together in a bowl to form a thick paste. Toss the cauliflower florets in the paste until full coated and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns a light golden brown.

When the root vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the kumara and place in a large high speed blender jug. Peel the skin off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and place in the blender jug. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the blender along with the rest of the spices and coconut milk. Blend on high until you have a smooth, thick soup.

At this point if the soup is a little cold and you’re serving it straight away, simply pour it into a pan and heat until you reach the desired temperature. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a sealed container and store in the fridge until required. To reheat simply place in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with a handful of crunchy cauliflower, a sprinkle of popped lentils and some freshly chopped parsley.

Store any leftover soup, cauliflower and lentils in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. The soup will also freeze well for up to 1 month.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

 

Can you believe it’s October already?

That means it’s time to pull out the pumpkin recipes, carve a jack o’lantern and dust off your Halloween outfit! Sounds like a pretty good excuse to celebrate pumpkins to me 😉

While I cook with pumpkin and squash all year round, mainly because they’re readily available and locally grown, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dedicating a month to this iconic vegetable.

So before I get to this new recipe for Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry, here’s a quick recap of some of  my favourite pumpkin recipes to date:

Pumpkin & Lentil Spinach Salad – one of the easiest, throw together salads that can be served warm or cold, for lunch or dinner.

Carrot, Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping – this is one of the most popular recipes on here, and I can see why. It’s a lovely, thick pumpkin soup infused with warming ginger, and the black bean topping provides the perfect texture contrast and is a good source of plant based protein.

Pumpkin Pie Granola – if you eat oats, this is quite possibly the perfect October breakfast! I gave my crunchy maple banana granola a low sugar makeover using pumpkin as the main sweetener and loaded it up with pumpkin pie spices!

Last but not least are two completely sugar free recipes that use pumpkin as the sole sweetener:

Pumpkin Pancakes & Pumpkin Pie Brownies – these two recipes can take unsuspecting tastebuds by surprise. They’re not especially sweet as they don’t contain any added sugar or sweeteners besides pumpkin, so they’re best enjoyed when you’re tastebuds are accustomed to no sugar, like when on a 10 Day Sugar Cleanse.

 

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

 

This recipe for Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry is one of my easy, go-to weeknight meals because you can whip it up in just 30 minutes, and it makes fabulous leftovers for lunch the next day.

It’s completely plant based, gluten/grain, dairy & sugar free, and just happens to be one of the recipes from the Plant Based Menu in my 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program.

Even though it only takes 30 minutes to make, it’s made completely from scratch with no curry paste or sauces added. It’s simply a clever combination of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, and red lentils make it deliciously thick and creamy, and are a source of plant based protein.

You can make it as spicy or mild as you like with the amount of fresh chillies you add, and likewise, feel free to adapt the vegetables to whatever you have in season or to hand.

 

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

 

I hope you enjoy this fragrant pumpkin and red lentil coconut curry, and if you make it let me know!

Leave me a comment down below and be sure to tag any photos @swoon.food #swoonfood on social media so that I can come and admire them.

Enjoy!

 

PUMPKIN & RED LENTIL COCONUT CURRY

Serves: 2 to 4
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

1 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup red lentils
1/2 small pumpkin
1 carrot
1 zucchini
1/2 head broccoli
1 handful mushrooms
1 red or green capsicum
1 handful cherry tomatoes
10cm piece fresh ginger
2 fresh red or green chillies (optional)
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper
400ml coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut, avocado or macadamia oil

To Garnish:
2 handfuls bean sprouts
1 large handful coriander
2 spring onions

 

Prep the vegetables by slicing the onion in half and then into thin strips. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the broccoli and chop into florets. Peel and chop the carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms and capsicum into bite size pieces. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Chop the chillies into thin slices. Wash the lentils under filtered water to remove any unwanted debris.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan or wok and when hot add the onions. Stir fry for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add the garlic, followed by the broccoli, carrot, zucchini, capsicum and chillies. Add 1/4 cup of water to create some steam and continue to stir fry for a few more minutes. Add the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Next add the coconut milk and red lentils, grate in the ginger and season with salt and pepper. Allow the coconut milk to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally, ensuring the lentils are submerged. If the liquid barely covers the vegetables or looks too low, add another cup of filtered water. Cook around 20 minutes or until you can easily slice the carrot and pumpkin with a butter knife, and the lentils are soft.

Lastly rinse and drain the bean sprouts, coriander and spring onion. Finely chop the spring onion then add all three to the coconut curry just before serving.

Store any leftover red lentil coconut curry in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

 

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

 

Need some fresh inspiration for your dinner repertoire?

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the fridge at 6pm, thinking “what the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight?”

I find myself in this position on a regular basis, though to be fair, it’s all my own doing.

I’m not a planner when it comes to meals, unless it’s something I want to test or shoot. I prefer having a fridge (or garden) full of fresh ingredients and waiting for inspiration to hit.

More often than not it does, but when it doesn’t, this is my go to solution.

 

Try this one tray roast vegetable salad ready in under 60 minutes.

Or in other words, roast parsnip, carrot and broccolini salad with wild kraut and coconut yoghurt.

This recipe could have any number of vegetables in its name because the whole point is to use whatever you have in the fridge at the time.

 

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

 

No recipe needed.

It’s a dish so simple, if you know how to roast vegetables you don’t need to follow a recipe.

If you don’t know how to roast vegetables then I’ve put it all in the recipe down below.

To prepare this salad start with two types of root vegetable – whatever’s in season or takes your fancy. Peel, cut and toss in oil, salt and pepper. Put these on to roast while you prep the next two vegetables, which will ideally a bit softer and greener. For these photos I used broccolini and asparagus, but you could equally use zucchini, bok choy, kale, capsicum…etc.

When the root vegetables have been cooking for around 20 minutes, add the softer vegetables on top and return to cook for another 10 minutes, or until they’re all cooked through.

While the vegetables are cooling, prep your choice of protein. I used poached eggs here, but you could also use smoked salmon, cooked chicken breast, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, nuts, cheese….whatever floats your boat!

 

Putting it all together…

The most fun part is putting it altogether. On a large dish or platter, layer the vegetables and toss through some baby spinach leaves (because you can never have too many greens!). Add a dollop of unsweetened coconut yoghurt, sprinkle over some almond dukkah (recipe link below), some sauerkraut and lastly fresh herbs.

And voila! You’ve just whipped up a gourmet meal in under 60 minutes that’s packed full of plant based goodness, loaded with healthy proteins and fats and packed with flavour.

This warm vegetable salad s also an impressive dish for a gathering, and any leftovers make for a great lunch the next day. Simply add a few more fresh green leaves and you’re good to go.

 

When you try this recipe, let me know!

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think! What vegetables or protein did you use? Also be sure to tag your picture #swoonfood on Instagram. Enjoy!

 

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

 

Roast Parsnip, Carrot & Broccolini Salad with Wild Kraut & Coconut Yoghurt

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 30 minutes

4 parsnips
4 large carrots
1 bunch broccolini
1 bunch asparagus
2 handfuls baby spinach
Olive, avocado or macadamia oil
Salt & pepper

Protein (Choose one): Poached eggs Fried Tofu Cooked chicken breast Smoked salmon

To Serve: Almond dukkah Coconut yoghurt (I used Raglan’s unsweetened) Kraut (I used Forage & Ferment’s Wild Kraut) Fresh herbs

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake and line one large oven tray with baking paper or mat.

Peel the parsnips and carrots and chop into strips. Place on the lined oven tray, toss with 1 Tbsp oil and spread out so there’s no overlapping to ensure even cooking. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile wash and trim the asparagus and broccolini. Toss with a little oil, salt and pepper. When the parsnips and carrots have been in the oven for 20 minutes and have started to colour, add the asparagus and broccolini on top. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until they’re cooked to your liking.

To serve, lay the roasted vegetables on a plate, toss with spinach, add your protein of choice, sprinkle over some kraut, a dollop of yoghurt and some dukkah.