Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

Hooray for easy soups! This is the type of recipe that saves the day. Very few ingredients, fast, and really delicious. Not to mention the fact that it’s super healthy, just happens to be vegan, and you can have fun customizing the toppings. Save this recipe for Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup into your bookmarks, because I promise it will become one of your regulars.

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

Overhead view of a bowl of curried red lentil and pumpkin soup, garnished with paprika, fresh bread on the side

Add Toppings to Your Soup

“So, what’s this about custom toppings,” you say? Well… You can go creamy with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, spicy with a few red pepper flakes or sriracha, crunchy with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or croutons, or fresh with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Or hey, DO THEM ALL. I won’t judge.

Can I Substitute the Pumpkin?

If you don’t have canned pumpkin, you can use about a cup and a half of mashed sweet potato or butternut squash in its place. Just make sure they’re really soft and well mashed so there is no stringiness in the final soup. Oh, and speaking of that, you can take an immersion blender to the finished soup for a super silky finish, if you’d like. Me? I prefer to have a little texture.

Can I Use Brown or Green Lentils?

While you can use a different type of lentil, it will definitely change the outcome of the soup. Red or yellow lentils are best for this soup because of their mild flavor and the fact that they break down quickly when cooked, giving the soup a nice thick consistency. A brown or green lentil will give the soup a much earthier flavor and have a chunkier texture.

What Kind of Curry Powder Do You Use?

I’m not very picky about curry powder, and haven’t come across one yet that I don’t like. I do prefer to buy mild curry powder, that way I can make both mild and hot curries with it by adding my own cayenne pepper for heat, when I want. For this particular soup, I used Sharwood’s mild curry powder.

Side view of a bowl of curried lentil and pumpkin soup, garnished with paprika, on an orange napkin.

 
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4.76 from 57 votes

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

This super fast and easy Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup is soul warming and flavorful. Inexpensive, vegan, flavorful, filling, and customizable!
Total Cost: $5.89 recipe / $0.98 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 (1.33 cups each)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.31)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée ($2.00)
  • 1 cup dry red lentils ($1.34)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.78)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder (or to taste) ($0.30)

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger (use a small hole cheese grater). Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large pot with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
  • Add the pumpkin purée, red lentils, broth, and curry powder. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes the lentils should be soft and the soup slightly thickened.
  • Taste to adjust the curry powder or salt as needed, then serve.

Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 173.92kcalCarbohydrates: 29.37gProtein: 9.92gFat: 3.22gSodium: 863.92mgFiber: 4.85g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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How to Make Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sweat Onions Garlic and Ginger in soup pot
Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and grate about 1 inch or 1 Tbsp worth of fresh ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater). Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent. (More info about cooking with ginger here.)

Can of pureed pumpkin
Add one 15oz. can of pumpkin purée. Make sure you get plain pumpkin purée (aka “solid pack pumpkin”) and not canned pumpkin pie filling.

Red Lentils in a measuring cup
Add one cup dry red lentils. I used red lentils for this soup not only because of their color, but because they break down quickly and thicken the soup, sort of like split peas. Green and brown lentils tend to stay whole and take a little longer to cook than red lentils. 

Pumpkin and Lentils added to soup pot
Okay, so far we have sautéed onion, garlic, and ginger, plus pumpkin and red lentils…

Curry Powder bottle
Finally, add 6 cups of vegetable broth and about 1 Tbsp curry powder. Curry powder varies quite a bit from brand to brand, so you’ll have to taste and adjust with this one. I suggest starting with 1 Tbsp and moving up from there. You can use either hot or mild curry powder. If you have mild curry powder, but want the soup spicy, you can simply add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

Broth added to soup pot
Stir the soup to make sure everything is mixed and the canned pumpkin is dissolved into the broth. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (lid on).

Simmered Soup in the pot
After 20 minutes, the lentils should be soft and broken down. Taste the soup and adjust the curry powder or salt to your liking.

Close up side view of a bowl of Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
And then go wild with the toppings! Or just serve it with some crusty bread to dip into all that goodness.

Overhead view of a bowl of Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup with chunks of bread on the side
Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup – It really is that easy.

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup - BudgetBytes.com