I am not really a huge kitchen gadget person – believe me, I have a lot of gadgets in my kitchen, but I am shocked to look through my drawers at what I use, and what just sits there collecting dust. Since we are in the gift giving season, I have decided to post my all-time favorite kitchen gadgets. Please note, I have not been paid what-so-ever to promote any of these items – these are all mine, and I am giving you my honest feedback. I would give you a top 10 list, except that I cam really only think of my top 5 – would you believe that I really don’t have more than 5, with all the cooking I do? I think that says a lot right there – I use the same things over and over…these are in no particular order.
- Giant Spatula - I use this for everything: cakes, roasts, pommes Anna – anything I need to move from one place to another.
- Ice Cream Scoops – mostly I use these to bake with, and I have multiple sizes: cookie dough and cupcakes.
- Silicone Pastry Brush - fabulous because you can stick it in the dishwasher and it comes out perfectly clean!
- 1/4-Cup Measuring Cup – great for baking, and for making cocktails!
- Immersion Blender – what an amazing thing this is – it saves tons of dishwashing time.
Speaking of immersion blenders – I really don’t know what I would do without mine. Before I had one, this soup would have been a pain in the neck. I hate putting hot liquids into the blender, it always makes me nervous. This soup was one of the easiest dinners I have made in a long time – and the best part of all was how few dishes I had to wash. Oh, the other bonus is that this soup is vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free (as long as you skip the yogurt garnish) - and for my husband these days – that is a really good thing. The soup was delicious, and perfect for this time of year. You even have enough pumpkin left over to make some pumpkin bread.
So – with all the craziness of the season, do yourself a favor – get yourself an immersion blender, make this soup for dinner – and then order the rest of the gifts above for your friends and family. Done, done, and done.
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup dried small red lentils
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (optional)
- 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seed kernels, toasted (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in 3 cups broth, lentils, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. If you don’t have one, place the lentil mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return lentil mixture to pan over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth, 1 cup water, and pumpkin to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in ginger and lemon juice.
Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 2 teaspoons yogurt, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon cilantro if using.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Red Lentil-Pumpkin Soup