On cold winter evenings, I always crave rich, creamy, warming soups. In fact, I have a soup every single day and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I find soups very healing for my tummy and soul. Today, I’m going to share with you the recipe of my current favorite soup: a warming pumpkin and red lentil soup with a ton of healthy veggies. This soup is also very easy to make.
A couple of months ago, I got contacted by RawSpiceBar who wanted to send me a sample of their monthly subscription spice boxes. If you came to visit my kitchen, you would be terrified by the amount of spices I own (a little confession: 4 shelves full of spices!). For me, spices are everything in cooking. They can break or make a meal, and no meal will ever feel boring when I can play around with different spices and herbs. I also love sourcing the freshest and best quality spices that I can find, but on this remote island it’s quite difficult to find exotic spices.
When I read about RawSpiceBar, I got so excited for them because it’s one of the most brilliant business ideas I’ve ever come across. There are so many spices I’d like to try in my life, but they are either unavailable locally or I have to buy them in bulk somewhere online if I want to justify the shipping costs. Which means that I end up with this huge collection of spices that I will probably never use up in my whole life, and spices do expire.
RawSpiceBar sources spices from all over the world, choose a certain country to focus on for a certain month, and then grinds them days before shipping out to their customers. The quantity they ship is for around 3 very big meals, but honestly for me it’s more like 10 because it’s just the two of us and I use my spices sparingly.
The box also comes with three regional recipes, so you can truly try out the taste of the country or region. The box I got was for Ethiopia and I got Pumpkin Pie Spice, Ethiopian Mitmita, and Berbere spice mixtures. I haven’t opened the latter two yet, but the Pumpkin Pie Spice blew my mind. I’m not exaggerating here. I’ve tried hundreds and hundreds of spices from different sellers in my life, you could say I’m a true spice gourmet, but these spices really impressed me. The freshness is really palpable. The smell is strong, balanced, and intoxicating in a good way.
I have a pot of the pumpkin and red lentil soup cooling down on my counter right now and the kitchen smells like heaven, thanks to RawSpiceBar. I love what these guys are doing: trying out new spices and dishes is an excellent way to entice people to start cooking at home, to start experimenting with new food, fall in love with food, get out of the cooking routine, and get healthier in the process. I hope they’ll be as successful as I think they deserve to be.
If you want to check them out, you can visit their website here. Their monthly subscription box is only $6/month and they ship worldwide. I don’t know how about you, but I think it’s such a small price to pay for renewed enthusiasm for your food. I know what being stuck in a rut feels like.
By the way, I’m not paid to write this blogpost. I simply love business ideas like this where simple things can truly change people’s lives and make people experiment more and find joy in cooking. So if my enthusiasm is a bit over the top, I’m sorry. I just really love my spices. 🙂
Now for the recipe of the pumpkin and red lentil soup, it’s my go-to to during winter evenings or any evenings really. It’s one of my favorite soups, it always soothes my tummy, and lifts my mood. It’s vegan, but you can also use butter if you eat dairy.
What you’ll need to make pumpkin and red lentil soup:
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil (you can also use olive oil, butter or ghee)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, chopped
- around 3 cups of chopped pumpkin
- 1 cup of dried red lentils (best for your health if they are soaked overnight)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 4 peppercorns
- pumpkin pie spice mixture (I used the one from RawSpiceBar)
- coconut milk for serving (you can also use real milk or yogurt for this purpose)
This makes around 4 portions.
How to make the pumpkin and red lentil soup:
- Melt all the coconut oil in a pot and cook the onion until soft. Just before the end, add the garlic and cook for around a minute.
- Next, add the carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, red lentils, and all the spices and seasoning. Stir everything and allow to cook for around 10 minutes.
- Add enough water to cover all the vegetables, but not too much or the blended soup will be too liquid. You can always add more water later if you need it. But if you add too much straight away, you won’t be able to take it away.
- Cook for around 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and the carrots are soft enough.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender.
- Pour it into your cute soup bowls and pour some coconut milk in circles for decoration purposes, but also to make the soup even more creamy and mellow.
- Final step: take your pumpkin spice mixture and sprinkle it over the top of the soup and the coconut cream. Not only it will look great, but it will really enhance the taste. If you add it to the soup with the rest of the spices at the beginning, it won’t be the same. The taste really pops so much more if you add this spice mixture at the end, just before serving.
- Enjoy your warming winter soup!
I hope you really like my simple recipes because I’m going to be posting a lot of them. I believe healthy cooking must be simple, quick, and affordable, otherwise it’s going to be too difficult to stick to long-term. So you won’t really find fancy recipes here, but you’ll find lots of real, whole foods made with love and lots of respect for food and your wallet.
Off to eat my pumpkin and red lentil soup right now! 🙂 I actually added some radish greens to it this time to make it a little greener and it looks great. I’m sure it’s going to taste great, too. Nom nom!