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Pumpkin soup

Red split lentil, cauliflower and coriander soup

In traditional Indian – or Ayurvedic – cooking, seasonal vegetables and warming herbs and spices are key to boosting health and wellbeing during the winter months, says nutritionist Rob Hobson.

Lentil coriander soup

This warming soup is full of nutritious lentils, which are  one of the richest sources of dietary fibre.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 100g red lentils
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 75ml coconut milk, plus more to serve
  • Handful fresh coriander, 1 fresh red chilli and chapatis to serve

Method

  1. Begin by toasting the pumpkin seeds in a large, dry frying pan set over a medium heat. When toasted remove from the pan and sprinkle with salt, then set aside.
  2. Heat a large saucepan or cast-iron pot over a medium heat and add the oil, onion and carrots, cooking for about 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add the cauliflower, lentils, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and stock and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils and cauliflower are tender.
  4. Add the coconut milk and blend with a hand blender until creamy and smooth.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings then serve with an extra swirl of coconut milk, some fresh coriander, chopped red chilli and the toasted pumpkin seeds. Chapatis on the side are also recommended to mop everything up!

Rob Hobson MSc RNutr is a Registered Nutritionist who has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies and performs training in the public health sector (including government agencies and the NHS). Rob contributes regularly to UK press publications and has a monthly column in Women's Health magazine.

Find out more at Rob Hobson's website, or read more about Healthspan's health experts.