PUMPKIN, RED LENTIL AND HARISSA SOUP

PUMPKIN, RED LENTIL AND HARISSA SOUP

Any variety of pumpkin – Crown, Buttercup, Butternut –  will work well in this deliciously warming soup. 

Serves 6
1 cup split red lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp Harissa, plus extra to serve
800g (1/2 medium) pumpkin, cubed with skin and seeds removed
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, as preferred
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraiche, to serve
Fresh sprigs of coriander or Italian parsley, to garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

1. Cook lentils in gently boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. At the same time, heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, to soften but not brown.

2. Add pumpkin, harissa and stock and bring to the boil then turn down the heat to simmer gently for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is very tender. Puree the mixture in a blender then return to the pan. 

3. Drain the cooked lentils and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Stir lentils into the pumpkin soup, adding a little cooking water to thin, if required. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. 

4. Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraiche, extra harissa to taste, sprigs of coriander or parsley, and a good drizzle of olive oil.