Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup

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Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup

My habit of collecting recipes is becoming an addiction of sorts, but I never forget my treasured copy of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. I've had this book for years, but there remain many culinary delights I have yet to explore. I was browsing through what I like to call the bible of Indian cuisine last week, looking for something warming and as-yet unexplored. Ms. Devi's recipe for golden pumpkin toor dal soup seemed like an ideal soup to ease the Canadian January blues. The tartness of the lemon compliments the sweetness of the pumpkin perfectly in this soup. Yellow split peas or chana dal can be substituted for the toor dal though you may need to cook the soup for a little longer. This soup is even better and spicier when eaten the day after it's cooked.

It was also a good opportunity to use some of the pumpkin from the freezer left over from the pumpkin pie I made back in the fall. Uncooked winter squash, such as butternut, or acorn, can be substituted for the puréed pumpkin.

Toor Dal Pumpkin SoupToor Dal Pumpkin Soup
Recipe by
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 28, 2008

Light, refreshing and delicious toor dal or yellow split pea soup with pumpkin and Indian seasonings

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

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  • 2/3 cup dried toor dal or yellow split peas
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup puréed unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 4 to 5 fresh green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dab of ghee, butter or oil
  • juice from 1 lemon or lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 to 3 whole dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • small handful fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Thoroughly rinse the toor dal or yellow split peas and soak in 3 cups of hot water for 3 hours. Drain and set aside.

  • In a large saucepan or soup pot, combine the toor dal or split peas, water, pumpkin, ginger, chilies, celery seed, turmeric, bay leaf and lemon or lime juice. Add a dab of ghee, butter or oil and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the dal is cooked completely. Remove the bay leaf and beat the soup with a wire whisk or purée with an electric hand blender.

  • Heat the ghee, butter or oil for the tempering in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cayenne, dried red chilies and sugar. Stir for a minute or two, then toss in the asafetida and curry leaves and quickly pour the fried seasonings into the soup. Cover immediately and let sit for a few minutes so the flavors blend into the dal. Stir in the salt and chopped fresh parsley and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup


Lucy said...

What a beautiful image, steaming in the sunlight!

Every single recipe's a winner in the book, isn't it?

Lisa Turner said...

Thank you Lucy. Yes, I don't think there is a recipe in the entire book that I wouldn't like. I'm so glad it's such a fat book, because I'll have years of new recipes to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Wow that soup sounds amazing! and a great use for the leftover Pumpkin...

Thistlemoon said...

I love pumpkin soup - of any kind! This looks great - what a nice use of leftover pumpkin! :)

rhid said...

I adore Dal soups - something about the consistancy. I'll have to try this. I love Indian love love!

Ivy said...

I still have leftover pumpkin in my deep freezer, but too bad I can't get hold of many of the ingredients in your soup. However, I can still make some more pumpkin pie.

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for dropping by Ivy. Is it the spices you can't get by chance? If there is an Indian grocery store near by, you could find everything you need. There are also mail order options for the spices.

Carole said...

Lisa, thanks for adding this to what is now a great collection! Cheers

Chumkie said...

You have a lovely selection of recipes, Lisa. Thanks for sharing them. I've just joined your blog and hope you will join mine. I will definitely be back to browse some more!
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