Recipe and Photography: Amber Bremner

Sick of chopping pumpkin? Try this nourishing and comforting sweet potato soup that’s mildly spiced with cumin and cayenne, and topped with salty, savoury tamari roasted pumpkin seeds. Double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd or have big appetites to feed.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 large orange kumara (about 600g), peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup red lentils
salt and pepper to season
juice of one orange (about 2 tbsp)
coriander (to garnish, optional)

For the tamari pumpkin seeds:

½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp tamari

Preheat oven to 160°C. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the tamari then spread them out on a baking tray and roast for 8‒10 minutes, or until toasted golden and the tamari is dry. Remove from the oven and cool. The seeds will crisp up as they cool.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onion and celery and cook for 5‒10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, kumara, vegetable stock and red lentils. Season with a little salt and pepper, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and the kumara is soft.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return soup to the pan, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, and add orange juice to taste.

Serve soup topped with a few spoonfuls of tamari pumpkin seeds and some chopped coriander leaves.

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