It’s pumpkin season again and I can’t think of a better way to get it started than with pumpkin and red lentil soup. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins, low carbs and low calories…but the flavor is fantastic. The lentils are for protein and fiber. The two blend very well and provide a satisfying, yet low calorie soup. Red lentils are ideal for this kind of soup because they tend to sort of dissolve into the soup, making it creamy and smooth, while brown or green lentils keep their shape and are better for salads.
When I mentioned to Mary Jo that I was going to make this soup, I was wondering were I could find some pie pumpkins. They are the little ones with a hard shell, unlike the jack-o-lantern kind. You know, you just cut them up and bake them for an hour and a half, then scrape the pulp out of the shell, then puree in a food processor. Oh, and then place the puree in some cheese cloth to let it drain the excess liquid. And that is what I was going to do, but Mary Jo stopped me right there and said, “Been there, done that! Go to the store and buy a can of Libby’s 100% pumpkin puree and forget about making your own.” I am so glad I took her advice. No mess, no fuss…100% pumpkin, no added spices. I bought a couple of cans of it, so there may be more pumpkin posts in the near future.
The soup is excellent and hearty bread makes an excellent accompaniment. You could also add some sliced cheeses and meats on the side. Let everyone make their own meal of this.
‘Tis the season, so grab a few cans of pumpkin puree and start cooking. This easy pumpkin and red lentil soup would be a good start and leftovers make a wonderful lunch.
Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium sweet onion , sliced
- 1/2 cup red lentils , rinsed and drained (brown or green would work also)
- 1 yellow bell pepper , cut into bite sized strips
- 2 14.5 oz . cans chicken broth
- 1 15 oz . can pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp curry powder (I used Penzey's vindaloo seasoning and it was perfect)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- In a dutch oven or heavy stock pot, on medium heat, add the oil, onion, lentils and bell pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring.
- Add the chicken broth, pumpkin, ginger, curry and cumin, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 25 minutes.
- Add the salt, pepper and lemon juice
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve hot.