Pumpkin Soup

Such a simple, tasty, inexpensive and totally vegetarian soup! What more can you ask for? A bit of jus de truffe maybe?
Always buy organic pumpkins. This allows you to use the skin, giving you two benefits: there is no need to peel the pumpkin and you will end up having a more tasty soup.
Some feel you should add oranges to pumpkin soup. Please don’t. It adds sweetness, which ruins the balance in the soup. Given the taste of the pumpkin you should add something spicy (chili pepper, ginger) and complex (ginger, cilantro, jus de truffe).

Red lentils will become completely soft when cooking them for 30 minutes; very different from green or black lentils. We add the lentils not only because of their taste, but also because they very much improve the texture of the soup.
If you happen to have pumpkin seed oil, then please use it to give the soup the best finishing touch just before serving it.

Here is what you need:

  • Small Pumpkin
  • Red Onion
  • One Garlic glove
  • Ginger
  • Chili Pepper
  • Tablespoon or more Red Lentils
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Cilantro or Jus de Truffe

You can go two ways with this soup: a mild version (half a chilli, 2 centimetres or so of fresh ginger) or a spicier one (one chilli and 4 centimetres of ginger).
Chop de red onion in smaller but equal sized bits and put in a cold pan with olive oil. Put on moderate heat and give it some 5 to 10 minutes. Now add the chilli pepper, the roughly chopped glove of garlic and stir. Continue for 5 minutes on moderate heat. Peel the ginger, slice and put on a small wooden stick. This way you can easily remove the ginger later on. Add the chopped pumpkin and stir. Continue for another 5 minutes. Now add the lentils, stir and, yes, another 5 minutes. Now add boiling water and leave for 30 minutes to simmer or until the pumpkin is very, very soft.
When done remove the ginger and blender the remainder into a smooth soup. Pass through a sieve to make sure it’s like a lovely velouté. Cool and put in the refrigerator for the next day.
If you’re making the spicy version, warm the soup, taste, maybe add some grated ginger, a splash of olive oil (or pumpkin seed oil) for the texture and lots of cilantro before serving.
If you’re making the mild version, taste carefully, add the jus de truffe, a tiny bit of olive oil, maybe some pepper, stir and serve.