I have probably given this vegan lentil soup recipe to over 100 people. That is not an exaggeration. This soup is really that good! This pumpkin coconut soup was inspired by another version given to me by Steven Acuff over 12 years ago, and I have been revisiting this coconut, pumpkin and red lentil soup trough with gratitude and snouting to my good health regularly ever since. Steven is an American nutritional consultant who changed my life, and reframed my thinking about health. He has a long history with macrobiotics and whole foods, and like so many others, was taught by Michio Kushi, and inspired by the great Sally Fallon and Weston A Price. He passed his wealth of knowledge onto me in a series of group lectures and 1:1 private sessions, and I have never looked back, utilizing what I learnt from him every day.
He introduced me to the health benefits of soaking nuts and grains, the importance of maintaining an alkaline balance, acquainted me to the fabulous Doctor Mercola, and most importantly, he introduced me to the magic of coconut. Steven lectures all over the world, and it is truly a life changing experience. If you can sign up for one of his seminars do it! The next best thing is to sign onto his site and check out the wealth of information. The Nutritional Guidance List Of Foods is the most accessed page on the site, and it remains my bible guide for eating whole foods.
Steven shared this coconut red lentil soup recipe with me as an alternative to my traditional Macrobiotic soup breakfast recipes. I have been eating a variation of this soup for breakfast for at least half of the year ever since. For those of you living in the United States, you will want to substitute sweet potato for the fresh pumpkin. The original recipe contained miso instead of vegetable stock. But seeing as I have gradually reduced my intake of soy over the years, I have started using vegetable broth instead. But if you use filtered water and stir through a few teaspoons of white or yellow miso just before serving this soup, the results are sensational. I vary the greens every day depending on what I have available. Chopped green beans work really well. You can omit the lentils, and just put in extra vegetables if you are intolerant to legumes. I included them in the basic recipe in order to get some protein and extra fibre.
If you have never grated fresh ginger before, it is best to use a small grater to yield the best results and save your finger tips! For me, I couldn’t live without my porcelain ginger grater. I was introduced to these magical kitchen gadgets by my beloved Tony Chiodo, and I never travel anywhere without one. They can be found at most gourmet kitchen shops or Asian grocers. Get one and you will never look back. Freshly grated ginger tea or gingerade is marvellous for heating the body during cold and flu season. Not to mention a delicious treat!
But the real magic ingredient in this vegan red lentil soup, that cannot be left out, is the coconut. If you have never purchased creamed coconut before, it is purchased in a small 200gm rectangular box. It is 100% pure coconut. Let’s Do Organic has a wonderful organic product that is widely available at health food stores. For those of you in Australia, head to your health food store or local Asian grocer.
This coconut will become your new best friend in the kitchen. It can be sliced off to make vegetarian curries, vegan soups, stews, raw smoothies. Just add water, and you have instant fresh coconut milk for any recipe. If you need a quick energy boost or snack, you can just slice off a piece and eat it like fudge. I always keep a box in my car for that rare hyperglycemic moment. For more information about the health benefits of coconut head to my Use Raw Coconut page.
There is not enough room in a short recipe post to share the multitude of health benefits of coconut, and I am certainly not a qualified health care professional. For more information head to mercola.com and type in coconut in the search bar. Some fascinating articles and studies from around the world will give you some further insight. Dr Mercola is an absolutely invaluable resource for information about any health questions. Thank you again Steven! I think I have given out that website to about as many people as this vegan red lentil soup recipe! If you are looking for fantastic allergy free recipes, this yummy coconut pumpkin soup is a winner. It is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free and soy free if you don't use the miso. Thank you Steven. I owe you my health!
**If you want this soup to taste exactly like mine, the vegetable stock/broth that you use is important. Not all stocks were created equal. They really do vary in quality and taste. I always use Massel vegetable stock, which I believe is superior in quality and flavour. Massel stocks are vegan, gluten free, lactose free, kosher and free of MSG. When I don't make my own home made stock (I really do need to post that recipe) I always use Massel stocks. I actually prefer to use the stock cubes so I can control the strength. I use 1 stock cube for every 2 cups of filtered water.