Pumpkin is rich in a plant chemical called beta-carotene that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body helping to reduce the risk of disease. Adding lentils to dishes is a good way to increase your fibre intake (currently low in the diet of many people), which can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and also control weight, both risk factors for heart disease.
- 1 small pumpkin, deseeded and peeled
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 125 g red lentils
- 2 tsp Ras el hanout
- Small pinch of dried chilies
- 800ml vegetables stock
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Pomegranate arils
- Chopped mint
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Cut, peel and deseed the pumpkin putting the seeds to the side.
- Season the pumpkin and garlic with salt and pepper then wrap in foil. Place on a large roasting tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add the ras el hanout and dried chilies then cook for a further minute.
- Add the cooked pumpkin, garlic and lentils to the pan and stir. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
- Season to taste.
- Blend into a thick soup consistency using a stick blender. If the soup seems too thick then add a little water during blending.
- Serve in small bowls topped with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate and chopped mint.
- Clean out your pumpkin seeds by pulling away any strings of flesh and then rinse the seeds clean.
- Spread over a large baking tray and you can season with chilli flakes, sea salt, and fresh ground fennel seeds or spices and put a good glug of olive oil over them mix well so all coated and roast in the oven for ten minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Leave to cool then sprinkle over soup or eat as a snack.