The Star of lentils.
I love this soup as it’s heart warming , filling and a little different. Featuring the spice star anise and crusty toasted garlic bread , a must this winter.
680 grams Kent pumpkin , chopped
1/2 cup / 120 ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb sea salt I use :http://www.gewurzhaus.com.au/bratkartoffel_salz
1 cup/ 200 g green lentils, rinsed
5 coins ginger, 1/8-inch thick
1 whole star anise :http://www.gewurzhaus.com.au/star_anise
6 cups / 1.5 liters water
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup / 60 ml olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
red pepper flakes
Crusty yummy bread – day old preferred.
http://www.gewurzhaus.com.au/garlic_salt – is a great option for croutons infused with oil and brushed over bread .
Preheat oven to 220C
Cut the pumkin in half and remove the seeds.
Oil and salt the pumpkin and roast cut side down (in a rimmed baking pan) with the 1/2 cup / 120 ml of water poured into the pan. Roast until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. When cool enough, scoop out cooked pumpkin and set aside.
In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, star anise and water. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
In a large stockpot combine the olive oil, onion, leeks, fennel and additional salt. Cook covered over low heat until vegetables soften, about 7 – 10 minutes.
Remove the star anise and ginger coins from the lentil sauce pan, then add the lentils, lentil broth and pumpkin to the vegetables in the stock pot. Stir well and cook for another 15 minutes or so, allowing the flavors to blend. Add a pich of chilli flakes for more spice .
Serve as is, with lemon or topped with lots of garlicky homemade croutons.*
*For the croutons I simply ripped up the remainder of a day-old loaf of bread into tiny shreds, doused it in olive oil, garlic, and a bit of salt, you can however use really good garlic salt infused with olive oil as well and toasting it in the oven until golden and crunchy – oven was set to to a high temp around 250 .