Soup Season has begun in my house (*fist pumps). I love soup so much, and have it on the menu each week for an easy and quick dinner. One thing to think about when making a soup is to try to infuse protein into the mix somewhere along the line. This will help to keep you full and balance your blood sugar, making your soup a complete meal rather than more of an appetiser. I love a good vegetable soup as much as the next person, but when I’m hungry again in an hour, that’s just annoying.
How to Protein-Up Your Soup
One of my favourite ways to do this is with legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, white beans or split peas. Either whole or blended they make a fantastic addition to almost any soup, bringing protein, fibre, and various other vitamins and minerals depending on the legume. Adding quinoa is another way to protein-up your soup, which can be cooked directly in your soup as long as you give it a good rinse first and allow enough water content within the soup for it to absorb. Adding an egg to your soup, either stirred through ‘egg-drop’ style, or served fried as a topping is another wonderful addition. If you are a meat eater, you could of course include that too. And finally, don’t skimp on your toppings. Adding a good dollop of either yoghurt, cheese, nuts or seeds not only looks pretty, but adds protein, vitamins and minerals. In the case of nuts and seeds, it also adds a lovely textural crunch, which for me is pretty vital.
With this soup I have used chickpeas, and also added yoghurt and a few pumpkin seeds to the top. I hope you love it! *If you haven’t used harissa before, it is a chilli paste or spice native to Tunisia that combines spices such as coriander, red pepper, cumin, garlic, caraway, mint and several kinds of chilli. It’s delicious! I recommend hunting some down from your local deli or spice shop, but if you can’t find it, you could substitute with regular chilli.
Gingery Roasted Pumpkin and Tomato Soup with Harissa, Lime and Yoghurt
600g peeled, deseeded pumpkin
250g tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp ghee, butter or coconut oil
1 large brown onion, diced
3/4 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/4-1/2 tsp harissa, plus extra to serve
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 cups stock or broth
1/2 fresh lime
3 tbsp yoghurt
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
Cut the pumpkin into 5cm chunks, place onto a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little oil. Add the tomatoes to a separate tray, drizzle with a little oil and pop into the oven with the pumpkin at 180 degrees C for around 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked. You may need to remove the tomatoes earlier as they will cook more quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Add the onion and ghee/oil to a medium-large saucepan over medium heat and cook until soft. Add the ginger and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the harissa, chickpeas, roasted pumpkin, tomatoes and stock, and cook at a low, slow bubble for around 10 minutes, until all the flavours have combined nicely.
Remove from the heat and blitz up your soup with a stick blender. Taste and add salt and extra harissa if needed. Serve into bowls and top with a dollop of yoghurt, a squeeze of lime, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds as desired.
Makes approx 4.5 cups
Bring on the soups! x