Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Fennel (for 4)

Over the next month I’ll start posting recipes here that I plan to use as our family’s standards (and some special ones for the seasons).  Erica is finished her maternity leave soon and I’ll be keeping the home fires burning during the day until Viola starts kindergarden.  The recipes will in general be fairly straight forward and reasonably quick.  Our diet is largely vegetarian but fish and the odd poultry recipe may make the cut.  They will be categorized not by ingredient but instead with an indication of when I’m likely to want to make the recipe (i.e.: Monday evening, school lunch, Fall, rainy day…).  It’s a method of categorization that is loosely inspired by Stereomood.  We try to eat in season and cook with what arrives in our weekly Share Organics box but generally when I cook it comes down to what I am in the mood for (hopefully that’ll most often correspond with the season and what’s at hand).So here it goes, this Fall recipe used the pumpkin we picked up at the Moss Street Market last week.  It comes from Erica’s handwritten recipe journal and she notes that it originates from Katherine and Ken’s Books for Cooks Test Kitchen Cookbook (I’m not sure which version or which cookbook Books for Cooks was testing it from… like all great recipes it’s been passed along).  I remember Katherine telling us to be sure to remove the seeds from the lemon as they can impart a terrible taste to the soup – so I’ll add that note to the recipe below.—

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 cup Du Puy lentils
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 240 g / 8 oz pumpkin (one grown to be eaten, not carved into a jack-o-lantern), diced
  • 1/2 lemon sliced (remove seeds)
  • flat leaf parsley, very roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  1. heat olive oil & gently sweat the onion with 1/4 tsp salt until softened, ~10 min.
  2. add fennel & cook 5 min.
  3. add lentils & fennel seeds, pour in boiling stock & simmer 30 min.
  4. add pumpkin, lemon slices, 3/4 of the parsley, & cook for ~20 min., until pumpkin and lentils are tender.
  5. add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. ladle into warmed soup bowls & serve with a spoonful of olive oil and parsley to taste.