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Pumpkin & Red Lentil soup

What an amazing response to yesterday's post about me being vegetarian. Thanks for all your fantastic comments and support, I really appreciate it. The things I like to cook are fuss free and not expensive. I don't like messing around for hours in the kitchen and I don't need top of the range equipment either. And I'm not prepared to spend hours hunting around for ingredients that aren't readily available. This is about nutritious and ultimately tasty food. It's about keeping it simple. Whatever veg I've used as the main ingredient here, it's been grown from seed, planted, nurtured and harvested here in Yorkshire at the Market Garden where I work. I'm calling these posts 'From The Garden'.

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My first recipe is a soup, Pumpkin and Red Lentil - perfect for autumn and winter days. It's a hearty, warming and slightly spicy soup. But if you are cooking for kids like I am you can choose to keep the spices on the milder side. Perfect for lunch or a supper, it's great eaten with some toasted naan bread. We enjoyed ours outside today, a quick lunch break during our walk in the woods. It was the perfect pick me up as it's so bloomin' cold today!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large chopped onion

2 cloves chopped garlic

1kg pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped

2 tbsp curry paste (or less if you are making it milder)

150g red lentils

1.2 ltr vegetable stock

1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g size)

A handful of chopped fresh coriander

Secret ingredient - We always use Henderson's Relish, a bit like Worcestershire sauce but vegetarian. It adds warmth and flavour.

We usually serve up the Boy's soup first and then add a few drops of this to our soup - it just gives it a bit of a kick!

Use a large saucepan as this makes a big pot of soup. Serves 6.

Warm the olive oil in the pan and then add the onion. After softening for a few minutes, add thegarlic. Cook for about 1 minute. Then add the curry paste and stir well. Add the lentils, stock, tinned tomatoes and pumpkin. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Season well. Then simply blend the soup to a nice thick consistency. Add some chopped coriander on top for a bit of extra flavour and garnish. 

Enjoy!

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