Photograph by Keirnan Monaghan Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Smoky Lentil Soup with Pumpkin

Starters from Issue 6 – Fall / Winter 2015 – Magic

When her father remarried, Cinderella was doomed—her stepmother and stepsisters, “beautiful and fair of face but vile and black of heart,” relegated her to kitchen servitude. Poor Cinderella was left to pluck her lentils and peas from the hearth’s ashes. She would, of course, eventually find her prince with the help of some fancy footwear. Our soup references both her pitiful home-life—with lentils infused with a smokiness by chorizo—and her happy ending, with pumpkin, the gourd that was (at least in the movie version) her chariot to the ball.

serves 6 to 8

  • 4 oz cured, dried chorizo, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 lb kabocha squash, chopped into ½" pieces, about 3 cups

  • 1

    Cook chorizo in oil in a heavy pot over medium heat until oil from chorizo is released then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Stir in onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.

  • 2

    Add garlic, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the celery begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add lentils and broth and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

  • 3

    Stir in squash and reserved chorizo and cook until the lentils and squash are tender but retain their shape, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.