I collected the leaves in this picture last weekend after we went on a lovely autumn bike ride in Derbyshire with my parents. Peddling through the hills with soft afternoon light and falling leaves while my 1 year old son Joshua snoozed at the back was pretty idyllic! An outdoorsy autumn day definitely put us in the mood for warming seasonal food. We nearly lost our outdoor glow with a tediously long drive back home to London but we were cheered up by a delivery of lovely orange pumpkins!
This week it turned out Hannah, Ruth and I were all craving the same flavours so we decided we had to share a lovely pumpkin soup recipe with you. Hannah’s 1 and 3 year olds gave Pumpkin Soup with soft ‘bread ducks’ their approval and Joshua loved the pumpkin puree I set aside from this soup.
This recipe is packed full of flavour and the goodness of seasonal fruit and vegetables, with additional protein from the red lentils. So gather your bread ducks and order your pumpkins to give this gorgeous harmony of pumpkin, sage and autumn apple a try!
Pumpkin, Sage and Apple Soup
1 medium sized pumpkin
1 head of garlic
1 bunch of sage leaves
Rapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
2 dessert apples
1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg
Two handfuls/50 g of split red lentils, washed
200 mls of no salt vegetable stock
200 mls unsweetened almond milk (plus a little extra to thin the soup to your preferred taste)
A small handful of pine nuts for each adult serving
Some warm crusty bread for ducks (torn into little bits) and dunking.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C
- Slice the pumpkin horizontally, cutting it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then use your knife again to score the flesh of each pumpkin half.
- Slice the head of garlic in half (leave the skin on) and rub the fresh exposed garlic into the flesh of the scored pumpkin. Scatter the pumpkin flesh with a handful of sage leaves and lay the half head of garlic plus a drizzle of oil into each section of pumpkin.
- Pop the pumpkin in the oven, skin side down along with both dessert apples on the same tray if they will fit. Roast the apples for 30 minutes, then remove and set aside. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour or until you can push a knife into the flesh with no resistance.
- When you remove the apples from the oven it’s time to begin your soup stock: Roughly chop your onion and fry gently in a saucepan with a little olive/rapeseed oil until it softens.
- Add the nutmeg and washed red lentils; cook for another couple of minutes taking care that the lentils don’t catch.
- Add the salt free veggie stock and the almond milk to the pan and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven, take the garlic heads from the pumpkin and pop 2 or 3 peeled roasted cloves into the saucepan along with the flesh from each pumpkin (this should be easy to scoop out with a spoon). Core the apples and add them to the saucepan too, giving everything a good stir.
- Transfer the saucepan contents to a blender or food processor (you can also use a stick blender), blitz the soup until lovely and smooth. You can now set aside your baby puree portions required and then (if you want to) add additional almond milk to the soup until it reaches your preferred thickness.
- A sprinkle of pine nuts and seasoning for older children and adults will give a nice depth of flavour to compliment the sweet pumpkin and apple. Serve your soup with bread ducks for little ones and warm crusty bread for the adults.