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

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Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

 

This is indeed another soup post, but this soup is so delicious I had to share it!

Soup is definitely a go-to recipe when I want something delicious and warm in a short amount of time. I also love the idea of soup toppings which I first talked about here as they really lift a bowl of soup into something way more interesting and flavoursome, and the combinations really are endless!

In my last soup post I talked about the different coloured soups I’d been making and this is the green soup in that series. You may have noticed when making green vegetable soup that it starts off a vibrant green colour but by the end of cooking it turns murky olive green. A vibrant green soup is so much more appetising than the latter, so with that in mind I adjusted the way this green soup is cooked to try and keep it as fresh and green as possible.

By cooking the hard green vegetables, such as broccoli and celery, very lightly so they remain a little crisp, they’re more likely to retain their green colour. For softer green vegetables, such as spinach, add them at the very end so that they’re only lightly steamed, and any fresh herbs can be added straight to the blender. The result is a very vibrant green soup, which also happens to be better for you as the nutrients aren’t subjected to quite so much heat! The other bonus about the cooking method is it only takes 20 minutes to make, making it a realistic week day meal.

The topping I created for this green soup is a crunchy adzuki bean, sunflower seed and coriander combination, with a little middle eastern spin from sumac and ras el hanout. If you don’t have or like these spices, this topping recipe is definitely open to variations so feel free to use whatever spices you like. Likewise, the soup recipe is a basic starting point. Feel free use whatever green vegetables are in season and that you have on hand, using the basic cooking guidelines detailed below.

This green soup with adzuki bean topping makes a delicious lunch or dinner, and it keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. Hope you give this one a try, and would love to hear from you in the comments section below. Enjoy!

 

Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping
 

Green Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 6 bowls

1 head of broccoli
6-8 stalks of celery
4 cups filtered water
10cm piece of ginger
3 cloves garlic
4 bunches of spinach
1 large handful coriander
1 large handful Italian Parsley
1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Wash the broccoli, celery and spinach well. Cut the broccoli into florets and place in a large pan along with the water and roughly sliced celery. Roughly slice the ginger and garlic and add to the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and gently simmer for about 5 minutes. The broccoli and celery should still look green and have a slight crunch. Add the spinach and place a lid on top. Don’t worry if it doesn’t totally fit. You are just aiming for the steam from the water below to wilt it a little. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the soup is cooling you can prepare the topping – see recipe below.

Once the topping is ready the soup should be cool enough to blend. You should be able to do this in two batches. Start by blending the first half of the soup until smooth, then add half the herbs and blend until you can see they are just mixed in. Repeat for the second batch. Combine the two blender batches again in the cooking pot you used, add a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is evenly mixed then divide the soup up into your serving bowls and add the topping to the centre.

 

Adzuki Bean Topping

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes

1 400g can adzuki beans
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp ras el hanout
freshly ground salt & pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 large handful coriander, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Open the can of adzuki beans, place them in a sieve to give them a good wash and then let them drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan and add the crushed garlic. Cook for about a minute and then add the sunflower seeds, sumac, ras el hanout, salt & pepper & coconut sugar. Cook stirring for a few minutes until you hear the sunflower seeds start to pop. Add the adzuki beans and stir a few more minutes until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and coriander. Give it a good stir and then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve piled into the centre of a bowl of green soup.

 
Green Soup with Adzuki Bean Topping

 

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