"My mother would always take advantage of the cheap and plentiful winter squash in fall, as well as a garden full of kale, and simmer a pot of this soup for a quick weeknight supper for our family of six. She taught me that a few lentils can go a long way, how to make a soup from scratch and the importance of seasoning. This meal was a simple celebration of local and seasonal foods. Like all good food, the simple lentil soup was nourishing, in every sense of the word, and affordable for all. I still make it for my family every fall, and now, I share it with you."
– Aimee Wimbush-Bourque –
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound raw pumpkin or winter squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
¾ cup dried du Puy lentils or brown lentils
1½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 packed cups shredded kale
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
pepitas to garnish
- In a large pot, heat olive oil gently over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Tip in the chunked pumpkin and the thyme leaves. Cook with the onion for about a minute, then pour in all of the stock.
- Rinse the lentils in a fine sieve under cold running water, then add them to the pot. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Bring the soup up to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer soup for 25-30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and the lentils are cooked.
- Add the kale all at once, stirring well to submerge it in the broth. Pour in the vinegar. Cook the soup for another minute or two to wilt the kale. Then taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with pepitas. Serve hot.
Notes from the Chef
For a speedy soup, prep the pumpkin in advance and
store in the refrigerator, until you are ready to cook.