Pumpkin Lentil Soup

  • 1 onion; small dice
  • 2 medium carrots; small dice
  • 2 stalks celery; small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 ¼ cups red lentils
  • 1 quart homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil; as needed
  • Salt and pepper; to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add just enough oil to coat the pan and sweat onions, carrots, and celery until soft and translucent. Add garlic, herbs, and lentils. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the lentils are toasted. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let lentils cook until tender, but still al dente. Add pumpkin, tomato juice, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so- enough to allow the flavors to develop. Use an immersion blender to roughly puree the soup- or if using a stand blender, puree 1/3 of the soup before returning it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.