This is the 100th blog article here at Writing to Inspire. I can’t believe I’ve finally hit triple digits! And, to top that off, I’ve got a guest on my blog today. Please welcome Hillary Manton Lodge, the fabulous author of A Table by the Window. (See my review of A Table by the Window here.)
I realized that autumn is my favorite time of year last week, while stirring a pot of soup. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy winter’s holiday season, the return of leaves in spring, and the abundance of summer produce, but there’s something about fall that I love.
For one thing, I can finally turn my oven on! Standing over the stove and feeling warm and toasty is a good thing. While I miss the summer stone fruits and berries, I love roasting vegetables and having my pick of apple varietals at the grocery store. And the abundance of squash is the perfect way to celebrate the balance between sweet and savory. A single trip to the grocery store gives me a head full of ideas.
|photograph provided by Hillary Manton Lodge
This fall soup is a favorite of mine because it’s so iconically fall – pumpkin, apple, and spices. The lentils give it substance and the curry makes it the perfect warming soup on a cold day. If you’ve got a food processor and immersion blender, this soup comes together quickly. It’s based off of this recipe, but – like most recipes – I’ve toyed with it a bit. More spices, more fruit, and pureeing it at the end takes it from rustic to elegant.
Curried Pumpkin, Apple, and Lentil Soup
2 tablespoon butter
3-4 shallots, minced fine (about one cup)
1 tart apple, such as a granny smith, or two sweet apples, minced fine.
48 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked through
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons honey
Plain Greek yogurt, for garnish
1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish (optional)
½-1 tsp salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
1. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven, and add the minced shallots. Sauté the shallots until soft and golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add the apple and sauté for another 5-10 minutes, until the apples are very soft.
2. Add the spices, including lots of cracked black pepper.
3. Pour in the broth, add the lentils and the pumpkin. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very soft.
4. Add the honey and coconut milk, stir, and remove from heat.
5. To blend the soup, either use an immersion blender or puree the soup in a standard blender, in batches. If you use a standard blender, be very careful to let the soup cool a bit before blending, and don’t overfill. You may want to reheat the soup over the stove once blended.
6. Taste the seasonings, and add more salt, pepper, or honey as needed.
7. Serve hot with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. Delicious with pepitas sprinkled on top, with whole wheat naan or pita bread for dipping.
Makes a LOT. Freeze any extras for another cold, blustery day.
|Hillary Manton Lodge
Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of A Table by the Window. Her latest novel, Reservations for Two, will release in April of 2015. She and her husband make their home in Portland, Oregon.
Ooh, that recipe sounds delicious! Of course, being allergic to cinnamon, I’ll have to drop that ingredient and double up the nutmeg, if my taste buds deem it necessary. Thanks so much for being the guest for my 100th article, Hillary! It’s such a pleasure to host you here at Writing to Inspire.
Readers, make sure to mark your calendars. Hillary’s next book, Reservations for Two, will release in April 2015, from WaterBrook Publishing Group.
Readers, thank you for sticking with me through 100 articles. It’s been fun sharing my life, favorite books and movies, and author interviews/guest articles with you. I look forward to sharing many more on upcoming Mondays.
What is your favorite season of the year? Do you have particular recipes you use for each season? What\’s your favorite recipe? Mind sharing them in the comments?
Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.