A few months ago, I heard of a book called The Flavour Bible. I read a few reviews and decided it was just what I’ve been looking for - a book designed for people who can already cook, leaning more towards inspiration and suggestion rather than recipes. I have been cooking since I was wee, and I have never used any of the numerous recipe books I’ve fallen for over the years, so I banned myself from buying any more! I occasionally invest in baking books, but that’s different, being more of a science and less of a throw-it-in-the-pot-and-see-what-comes-out.
I finally got my copy of TFB last week and have been browsing and planning menus, but today I feel it really proved its worth. I got to the end of my soup, tasted, and decided it needed something. I wanted a herb, but which herb? So I looked up Pumpkin - the dominant flavour in the mix, TFB suggested bay leaves, so I added bay leaves, simmered a couple of minutes and voila!
I was so excited that the theory actually worked that I have written up the recipe for you to try if you are so inclined.
Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
1 very small pumpkin
1 large sweet potato
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked lentils
2 (ish) cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the pumpkin and sweet potato into pieces, skin on, and coat liberally with the oil and spices, dot butter on top and roast in a baking dish at 200C for 1 hour or until squishy.
Scoop the flesh out of the skins into a pot and puree with enough stock to make it nice and soupy. Stir in the lentils and the bay leaves and simmer a few minutes to heat through.
Season, and add cream perhaps if you’re feeling decadent (I didn’t have any).
My lentils were leftovers from yesterday, I had cooked them in chicken stock following standard packet directions.
I tend to use chicken stock for everything, but no doubt it would taste just as good with vegie. You could probably leave out the butter too to make it vegan, but I like the way it behaves with roasted vegies.