Speckled (Puy) lentils (one dessert spoon per serving)
1 Onion, peeled
2 Cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Carrot, peeled
4 Sticks of celery, chopped into smaller pieces
1 Butternut squash (or any seasonal squash – they all taste wonderful and roast well!)
1 Red chilli pepper, chopped finely
A few leaves of curly kale
Corn on the cob (kernels chopped off)
2 tsp Marigold Vegetable Bouillon Stock Powder
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1tsp Cumin seeds
1tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Black Pepper to taste
Set the lentils and bay leaf on to simmer. These are cooked separately so that they keep their dark colour and texture.
Meanwhile the onion, garlic, carrot and celery can be chopped using a MagiMix as above, or by hand. Chop the onions and garlic first and add them to a pan with a little coconut oil, followed by the carrot and celery.
While the vegetables are gently cooking, peel and chop the squash into small pieces and pop it into the oven to roast. In the AGA this will take about 20 minutes. In a fan oven it will take 20-30 minutes to roast at 160-180 degrees. Caroline likes to chop the base of the butternut in half and scoop out the seeds to toast in the oven. These make a delicious addition to the dish by sprinkling them on top of the soup or on top of a fresh green salad with avocado.
Next add the stock powder to the pan, followed by a teaspoon of turmeric. Season with black pepper and stir well before pouring in the hot water.
While this is simmering, add the fennel, cumin, coriander, mustard, and fenugreek seeds to a thick-based frying pan to roast. Keep them moving around the pan to avoid burning. Gently toast the seeds until they start to make a little popping sound.
Tip the toasted spices into a pestel and morter or you can use an electric grinder. Grind until the mixture forms a fine powder.
Add the roasted pumpkin to the vegetable base and blend with a stick blender.
Add the chilli and then the kale and blend through the soup.
Then add the corn kernels and stir in.
Finally, add the lentils. It is important to add these last to give the soup its texture.
Stir everything to warm through, adding most of the spices but save a little back to sprinkle on the soup after serving.
Allow all the flavours to infuse by gently simmering the soup for a few minutes.
As an optional extra, purple or normal sweet potato can be chopped into small chunks and roasted to add on top of the soup.
Tip: Roasting the squash before adding to the soup dehydrates it a little and brings out the sweetness.