Cinderella and Halloween come straight to mind when I think of the humble pumpkin. One is a visual of a converted coach hurtling towards a ball with an unsuspecting prince waiting and the other is of a spooky lit up pumpkin face. In reality, we are talking about an orange vegetable of the cucurbitaceae family. Try and say that fast three times, it’s not easy. There are quite a few varieties of pumpkin and they are all very low in calories, excellent sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals plus provide good dose of antioxidants such as leutins, xanthins and carotenes. Pumpkin is very handy as a colour enhancer in a meal and works so well incorporated into a soup. Hence, my $2 (actually less) meal today is the ubiquitous winter warmer, soup.
Red lentil and pumpkin soup
175g red lentils, rinsed
1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 brown onion, diced
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1cm piece of fresh ginger
2 x 10g vegetable stock cube
2 teaspoons curry powder (reduce to 1 teaspoon if kids don’t like the spice)
1.5 litres of water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oil in large saucepan and cook onion for 2 minutes until slightly soft. Add garlic and curry powder and cook until aromatic. Pour in water, crumbled stock cube, pumpkin and lentils and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes until pumpkin is soft.
Once removed from heat, use a stick blender to purée the soup. Serve with 1/3 cup low fat natural yoghurt and shredded fresh coriander.
Cost per serve = $1.67