If they call me the “queen of the soups” (this is just the beginning, you will see many others recipe) and in my turn I should declare the queen of my beloved soups, then I will vote this! It comes from the union of my two passions: pumpkin (I cook it in every possible way) and lentils. The last are not much considered within Mediterranean diet, in Italy they are destined to a particular time of the year: Christmas traditions expect them on the table of New Year Evening. They are in fact symbol of good luck and prosperity (money) and in this special occasion they are accompanied with a classic cotechino (a sort of cooked salame – it is served after a long cooking and it is made with leftovers from the curing of the pig, mostly skin, rich in collagen which gives to it a sticky and chewy texture. Described in this way doesn’t appear so inviting, instead it’s very soft, literally melting in the mouth, with a remarkable savory taste, well balanced by the gentle sweetness of the lentils!). Lentils, belonging to legumes’ family, are rich in proteins, with a low caloric content. Forget for a moment cotechino or any other addition, here lentils encounter a very sweet taste, the pumpkin, in a very light dish.
Ingredients (4 portions)
½ pumpkin of average dimension
1 medium onion
Salt & Pepper
Chili pepper – spices
Soak the lentils in a bowl of cold water at least for 2-3 hours, then rinse and drain them. Wash the pumpkin, peel it and cut into small cubes. Chop roughly the onion, so put all together into a pressure cooker (if you use a normal pot simply double the cooking time). Cover with water and cook for 25 minutes, once it’s in pressure. When the soup is ready, add salt, pepper and chilli pepper or any kind of spices which you like and mix it with a blender, taking out a quarter. Complete with a bit of olive oil.
Do you know what? Don’t throw away pumpkin’s seeds, they can be transformed in tasty snacks…