This time of year we love a cozy bowl of soup. It warms you up on a chilly day and gives your body something nutritious after all the Holiday treats!! This is our absolute favorite soup. I hope you will LOVE it as much as we do.
You will need a few delicious ingredients:
Begin by soaking your lentils overnight. You can read the package. It is not necessary for every type of lentil. Then cook your lentils in a large saucepan for 1 hour on low heat.
While they are cooking, cook your pumpkin in a separate pan. When it is soft, remove it from the heat and blend it in your smooth processor. I like it to be a little chunky, because it is nice to have actual pieces of pumpkin in your soup.
Alternatively, you can dice your pumpkin in small 1/2 inch cubes, and cook it together with the lentils. The food processor will give you the pumpkin flavor without the pieces, cooking it with the lentils some of the pumpkin will break up and blend into the soup, but you will still have chunks of pumpkin. Try both versions!! We do it, and love it, both ways!
After the first 30 minutes of your lentils cooking. Chop up your potatoes and carrots into 1/2 inch cubes and add it to your soup mixture.
When there is 15-20 minutes left add the salt to your lentil mixture. I use a small handful, maybe 3 tablespoons. Make your soffritto. Begin by pouring Virgin Olive Oil into a small frying pan. Slice 2 garlic cloves and add it to your oil. Add 1 tsp of oregano and a couple of shakes of bay leaves. Cook the oil just until the garlic is browned. Be careful not to burn it or it will ruin the flavor of the oil. Add your flavored oil to your soup mixture.
When there are about 10 minutes left in your hour add 1 cup of basmati rice to your soup. Cook the last 10 minutes or until the rice is ready. Serve hot with Crostini di pane.
The more typical way to serve it here in Italy is to cook your rice or small pasta noodles separately, drain them, put them in your bowl and add the lentil mixture on top. We like more lentils and less pasta/rice and so we skip the carbs and just enjoy the lentils! But if you want to, you can try them the more traditional way as well! It is also delicious!!