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

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping

 

Since coming back from our tropical holiday in Thailand, all I’ve felt like eating is warm nourishing food! It’s not even officially winter yet but I think the sudden change in temperature has made it seem that way.

For the last two of weeks I’ve been making lots of colourful soups with all the autumn vegetables in season. Their unofficial names have been “green soup”, “orange soup” and “purple soup”, and you can no doubt guess which vegetables contributed to these colours.

A big bowl of steaming soup is deliciously filling while you’re eating it, but I find there isn’t quite enough protein to keep me going until the next meal time. So I’ve also been trying out the idea of “toppings” which is something the amazing Green Kitchen Stories love to do. It’s a brilliant idea as a topping can turn a simple bowl of soup into something a lot more exciting, and make it a complete and filling meal.

 

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping

 

So without further ado, here’s my recipe for “orange soup” aka carrot, pumpkin and turmeric soup with a spicy black bean topping. The soup is very easy to make. Simply simmer pumpkin, carrots, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a large pan of water until soft, then blend until smooth. This soup is naturally thick and full of flavour, so you don’t need any extra ingredients such a butter or flour. It also packs a massive nutritional punch while having a very low GI index. The carrot and pumpkin are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, while the ginger, turmeric and garlic add a lovely flavour and provide some amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and health promoting properties.

The spicy black bean topping provides a great contrast to the soup. It adds texture, crunch, protein and a little spice. If you don’t like too much spice simply leave it out. The topping is also very quick and easy to make. Simply cook crushed garlic and a chopped fresh red chilli in a pan, add pumpkin seeds and spices and cook until the seeds start to pop. Add the black beans and stir until they are just heated through.

This carrot and pumpkin soup with black bean topping makes a great lunch or dinner, and any leftovers keep well in the fridge for a week. Simply heat them through and serve. Enjoy!

 

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup

Makes: 4 bowls
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

1 kg pumpkin, skin removed, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large piece of fresh ginger (approx 8cm), chopped
1 knob of fresh turmeric or 2 tsp ground turmeric
4 cups of water
salt and pepper to season

Place the chopped pumpkin, carrot, garlic, ginger, turmeric and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer approximately 20-30 minutes until the carrots and pumpkin can be cut easily with a butter knife.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, blend using either a stick blender, food processor or high speed blender until smooth.

Spicy Black Bean Topping

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp mixed herbs
pinch cayenne pepper
1 x 400g can of black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to season

coconut oil for cooking

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a fry pan and add the garlic and chilli. Cook until the garlic starts to brown, then add the pumpkin seeds and spices. Continue cooking on medium heat until the pumpkin seeds start to pop (approximately 5 minutes), then add the drained black beans and stir gently until they are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle warm soup into a bowl and top with a few generous spoonfuls of black bean topping. Both the soup and the topping will keep for a week in separate sealed containers in the fridge. The soup can be frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Carrot, Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping