Crema de auyama soup is a classic dish in the Dominican Republic. It is one of my favorites, but it often has pork in it, so I wanted a vegetarian version. While it may have cream in it, coconut is also a local staple, so I make mine with coconut cream, which can be bought or I make it fresh as well to make my coconut yogurt. Generally, it is served as an appetizer, but by adding lentils, this one is a satisfying meal.
This is a nutritious soup packed with vitamins and protein, which comes together quickly. It can be made with any type of butternut, pumpkin or similar squash. You can use canned or fresh. If you use fresh, you can roast it before adding to the soup or add raw cubes at the start. Just do whatever is easiest for you. The orange lentils blend right in because of both their color and texture, so that is why I use them rather than another type of legume.
Pumpkin is high in vitamins including A and B. Lentils are SUPER high in fiber and also loaded with vitamins. This soup combines them with plant-based coconut milk for a dairy- and meat-free meal that can be paired with a green salad for a perfectly balanced meal. You can certainly make fresh coconut cream and use fresh pumpkin, but the canned versions of both may be used to make this super simple. Be sure to use coconut cream with no additives and plain pumpkin, and as always, organic is best.
In order to make it smooth, you will need an immersion blender or traditional blender, but you can also just smash it with a potato masher for a less smooth version.
1 small or 1/2 medium-large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 cup uncooked orange or yellow lentils
2 cups vegetable stock (I always use unsalted)
2 cups hot water
1 cup cooked pumpkin (I roasted half of one and then scooped the pumpkin out of the skin. You can also cut cubes of peeled, de-seeded, raw pumpkin and use those.)
1 cup coconut cream (fresh or canned)
salt, pepper, nutmeg
Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add rinsed lentils and the stock and water. If you are starting with raw pumpkin, add this now too.
Cook until the lentils (and pumpkin) are soft, about 30 minutes.
Add cooked pumpkin and coconut cream.
Turn off the heat. Using either an immersion blender or a traditional blender (with a cloth on top of the vent for steam release), carefully blend the soup. If you don’t have a blender, a potato masher can be used.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and freshly grated pepper.
Taste the soup.
If it needs more seasoning, add more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
If there is still bite in the lentils, add some water and cook another 10 minutes over low heat.
If it is too thick, add some water.
If it is too thin, cook over low heat until it thickens.
And that’s it! In less than one hour, you have a rich and creamy vegan soup that is filling and nutritious! Top with roasted pumpkin seeds and serve with oven-fresh bread. I made some garlic flatbread to serve it with this time.