Gold Turmeric Soup

Serves: 4
·         Preparation time: 10 minutes
·         Cooking times:  
      Stovetop:    30 to 45 minutes   Slowcookers:  Will depend on individual slow cookers but it'd be safe on long cook for the day if you have any things to do.

    This is a very fragrant, hearty Asian-inspired soup with an almost luminous golden colour from the turmeric and orange vegetables.  It is vegan if made with vegetable stock (although beef stock suits it very well, too) and is gluten free and dairy free. All the aromatics (garlic, ginger, onion and spices) and vitamin C in it make it ideal if you’re wanting to give your immune system a bit of a leg-up. The soup can be started on the stove and finished in a slow cooker.

2 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large knob ginger, grated
Fresh turmeric equivalent to 2 large knobs ginger, grated (or 1 level tsp dried turmeric)
3 fronds curry leaves, pulled off the stalk and chopped if desired
1 red cayenne chilli, finely chopped (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
½ butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups dried red lentils
6 cups water
2 level tsp Massell stock powder
270ml can Ayam coconut milk
Purple Jester Ratatouille Bake
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Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When quite hot but not smoking, add pumpkin and sweet potato and fry until it is coloured nicely. The longer you fry the vegetables for, the more intense their sweetness will be in the finished soup, but even a very light browning can be plenty if you’re wanting to keep it simple.
Add garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric (if using fresh) and chilli to the vegetables and fry gently until onion is well cooked. Add dry turmeric if used and curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes more. 
(The soup may be transferred to a slow cooker at this point if desired).
Add lentils, water and stock powder and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, put the lid on and simmer until lentils begin to disintegrate. Puree with your blender or pulverise with a potato masher. Stir in the coconut milk.
Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves if desired.
*This recipe by Elise Ruthenbeck