Looking back on our site and filling in the gaps to our repertoire as we prepare to try and make it more professional for the launch of our new health-food shop in the new year. God knows, it did need it, some of the pictures were incredibly bad, especially in the light (no pun intended) of the new trend of uber-bloggers these days that seem to be professional stylists as well as adept cooks.
So here is our first attempt at imitating. Please be patient with us. I repeat as our mantra, more or less every post, we like to cook and eat. Making stuff looks pretty comes pretty far down the line of priorities.
Here in London on a weekend you’re never far away from a farmers market. Now we’re imbetween shops and not getting a delivery from Riverford, its been great to have the time and necessity to get out an visit a few. Most enjoyed have been Marlybone, Alexandra Palace, Parliament Hill Field and Islington. You’re also never far from a plethora of squashes at this time of year. This one is a Kabocha. It’s green outside reveals a bright orange centre, very firm and sweet flesh, good for sweet and savoury recipes.
So now lets get on with the cooking. In every restaurant kitchen I’ve worked in, this has always been one of the most popular, if not the most, popular soups. Feel free to add in whatever extras you fancy. Sometimes, I make it more Italian style with a blended cashew cream and sage, sometimes, more Asian-style with lemongrass and lime juice, or even Indian with a touch of gram masala.
For this meal we enjoyed a homemade spelt loaf for a light winter lunch. A Thai or Indian style could be had over rice or noodles as a quick and warming dinner.
- 2 cups pumpkin/200g , peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
- ⅓ cup red lentils
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 stick celery
- ¼ cup creamed coconut (or substitute half a tin of coconut milk)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- herbs to garnish (we used coriander and sage)
- Salt and Pepper
- Good dash of tamari or brags liquid amino (optional)
- 1. Wash and rinse your lentils and place in a small pan covered with 2 cups water over low heat. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes until almost dry.
- 2. Warm the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan and sauté the celery until soft over medium low heat.
- 3. Add the pumpkin and herbs and 4 cups water or stock. bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook for about 15 minutes until pumpkin is soft.
- 4. Remove from the heat, add the lentils and coconut cream and blend with a handheld blender. (if you do not have one, you will have to wait until the soup cools and process in a blender of food processor - do not attempt to do this when it's hot!)
- 5. Serve hot with a garnish of a little olive oil, hemp hearts, herbs or toasted cashews.
- A light and healthy meal able to be adapted to suit your fancy (or what you have in). Including a full protein in the lentils it won't leave you hungry either.