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Hearty Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

As autumn settles in and the leaves begin to turn, there's no better way to warm your heart and nourish your body than with a steaming bowl of homemade soup. This Hearty Pumpkin and Lentil Soup is the embodiment of comfort in a bowl, combining the earthy sweetness of pumpkin with the protein-packed goodness of lentils. Let's dive into this recipe that not only delights your taste buds but also provides a wealth of nutrients for your well-being.

Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner

Dietary Info: Vegan, Gluten Free

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients: - 2 cups of pumpkin puree (you can use canned or make your own) - 1 cup of red lentils, rinsed - 1 large onion, chopped - 3 cloves of garlic, minced - 1 carrot, diced - 1 celery stalk, diced - 1 teaspoon of ground cumin - 1 teaspoon of ground coriander - 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger - 6 cups of vegetable broth - 1 bay leaf - 2 tablespoons of olive oil - Salt and pepper to taste - Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions: 1. Prepare the Vegetables: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrot, and diced celery. Sauté until the vegetables become tender and the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. 2. Add the Spices: Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and ground ginger. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the spices to become fragrant. 3. Combine Pumpkin and Lentils: Add the pumpkin puree and rinsed red lentils to the pot. Stir well to combine the ingredients. 4. Pour in the Vegetable Broth: Pour in the vegetable broth and add the bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. 5. Simmer: Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. 6. Season to Taste: Season the soup with salt and pepper to your liking. Remove the bay leaf. 7. Blend or Serve: At this point, you can choose to blend the soup using an immersion blender until it's smooth and creamy. Alternatively, leave it chunky if you prefer texture in your soup. 8. Garnish and Enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley if desired. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread or a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.

Health Benefits:

- Pumpkin: Rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants, pumpkin is great for supporting your immune system and promoting healthy skin.

- Lentils: Packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, lentils contribute to a feeling of fullness and help regulate blood sugar levels.

- Spices: The combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger not only adds delightful flavor but also offers anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits.

- Vegetable Broth: Provides vitamins and minerals while keeping the soup plant-based and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

This Hearty Pumpkin and Lentil Soup is a wonderful addition to your fall recipe collection. It's not only a treat for your taste buds but also a nutritious choice to support your overall health during the colder months. Enjoy the warmth and comfort it brings to your table!

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