This one pot red lentil pumpkin soup is simple to whip up on even the busiest weeknight. A hearty vegan soup that will fill you up. I love to serve with a slice of buttered bread to add to the comfort factor!
The inspiration for this soup came from my friend Teresa who make a similar soup when I was spending a weekend with a bunch of my friends from college. It’s been a few years now since I first published this recipe on the blog and we make it several times every fall/winter. It never gets old!
I love using red lentils in soups like this one because they cook so much faster than brown or green lentils. We always try to keep a jar of them tucked away in the pantry whenever the craving for this soup hits!
STEP 1: Add the oil, onion, and carrot to a dutch oven. Sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until onion is translucent.
STEP 2: Stir in the curry powder and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
STEP 3: Add the broth, pumpkin, lentils, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer or 10-12 minutes or until lentils have softened.
STEP 4: Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat, taste and season with additional salt and ground black pepper. Serve with some buttered bread!
Since you’ll be cooking up this yummy soup, why not talk about why lentils are so good for you! Lentils belong to the legume family of plants which also includes beans, peas, chickpeas, etc. As a vegan, I love incorporating them into meals because they are a good source of plant-based protein. In fact, one cup of cooked lentils provides 14 grams of protein!
Legumes are also a great source of fiber with about 16 grams per 1 cup serving. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 25 grams fiber per day (21 grams if >51 years of age) and men consume 38 grams fiber per day (30 grams if >51 years of age). Just one bowl of this lentil soup provides at least half of the recommended amount of fiber you need for the day.
In addition to fiber and protein, lentils are also a great source of iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Many Americans don’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Regularly incorporating foods that are high in magnesium like lentils, green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, and beans will help you meet the recommended intake for magnesium.
This lentil pumpkin soup is chock full of plant-based protein and fiber so it can be filling enough on its own with some buttered toast for dipping. You could also pair it with a salad (love the combo of soup & salad!). Here are a few salad options to try: winter kale salad, blood orange moroccan salad, lemon kale Caesar salad.
I have not made this soup with green or brown lentils, but it should work just as well. However, the cooking time will be much longer and the texture will be different.
Red lentils can be cooked from dried – no need to presoak them before cooking! Even without any soaking, red lentils cook quickly. You may still want to rinse your lentils before cooking and make sure there is no debris in your lentils.
Red lentils are split into halves and do not contain their outer coating like green lentils. Since they are split, red lentils cook much faster than other varieties.
This one pot red lentil pumpkin soup is super simple to whip up on even the busiest weeknight. A hearty vegan soup that will fill you up on a cold night.
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Add olive oil to a large dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
Stir in the curry powder and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin, broth, lentils, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook until lentils are softened, about 10-12 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and red pepper flakes to serve.
Serving: 1/6th recipe | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 18354IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
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