Get in your daily serve of vegetables in this warm comforting soup. Besides, it’s winter, you’re cold with nowhere to go and eating a storm…you need some soup! Except, we eat this soup all year round, regardless of the season.
This soup is a favourite with my family and all who find their way into our home. It is dubbed Nini’s soup and is the most requested dish at Niniville. I have friends who would call up to ask if they could come over and have this soup!
But since gathering to break bread around a bowl of soup with Covid-19 hovering about would be quite irresponsible, I decided to bring this soup to you. We can make it together and enjoy it apart, which is a pretty good deal at the moment;)
I learnt how to make this soup from my mother-in-law and customised the recipe to my liking. This soup is simple, nourishing and delicious!
The recipe ingredients are in a ratio of 1:1:1:1:1 so really hard to forget and you can’t really mess it up! Well, unless …
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Makes: 2 litres of soup
What you need:
200 gms each of: (You can use an estimate too, and don’t have to measure the ingredients)
- Red split lentils
- Orange Sweet potato, peeled
- Carrot, peeled
- Pumpkin (Japanese) peeled
- 1 litre of water, plus more if you like your soup thinner
- Salt to taste. 1 1/2 Tsp-2 Tsp. Less if salt restricted.
Steps to Soup
- Rinse lentils and place in saucepan (can also pre-soak)
- Add the litre of water and bring to boil over medium low flame (turn to low when lentils begin to boil)
- While the lentils are boiling, prepare the vegetables i.e. peel, wash and grate.
- When the lentils have softened (colour change from bright orange to yellow, some lentils start to break apart), add the grated vegetables into the saucepan and stir through
- Let cook on medium-low flame for about 30 minutes stirring every few minutes until most of the vegetables have broken down
- Season with salt and enjoy on its own, with bread or as a starter!
- To save time, start boiling the lentils before you prepare the veggies.
Cook time depends on amount of soup. Larger quantities require more time
- It is important to boil lentils first otherwise they will not cook well and they will be crunchy, changing both texture and flavour of soup
- Lentils can stick to saucepan hence the need to stir every few minutes. I use a metal spoon for that as it gives a good feel as to whether anything is sticking to the bottom of saucepan.
- If your soup sticks, pour it into a clean saucepan without disturbing the burnt bits at the bottom and continue cooking. I’ve never burnt this soup though
- If in a hurry, you can cook the soup on a higher flame, but it needs more frequent stirring.
- Add water to thin your soup more if you like and adjust salt
- Grating is absolutely necessary otherwise the soup will have a different texture and flavour.
- You can also use a food processor that has a grater component
- If you don’t have Kitchen scales, you can still make the soup using eye estimates for amounts
- It’s ok if the ingredients ratio is not perfect. It will not affect the taste.
- This soup needs the yellow sweet potato. Other varieties have different textures and starch content that don’t work well for this soup
- You can use butternut pumpkin but I find that Japanese pumpkin yields the best texture and flavour to this soup.
If your pumpkin is too young/green/ soft-skinned and therefore not sweet enough/full flavoured, the soup will taste a little washed out