Soup season is in full swing and we’ve been making this Curried Pumpkin & Lentil Soup more often than we can count. Not only is this soup luscious beyond belief, but it also packs a punch of flavour without needing hours bubbling away at the stove. Roasted veggies, caramelized pumpkin, protein-rich red lentils, a hint of spice, creamy coconut milk...all whizzed up into the silkiest of soups. Trust us: it’s hard to get cozier than this.
This soup has quickly become one of our go-to weeknight dinners. It requires minimal active cooking time, thanks to the fact that you roast almost everything in the oven - and whiz it in the blender until silky smooth. We shared this “soup hack” years ago (here), and to this day it’s our go-to method for soups on a weeknight. It’s amazing how much flavor you can develop in just the oven alone.
Earlier versions of this recipe involved a lot of time peeling and chopping fresh pumpkin. But then we learned two new things. First: Grocery stores in Vancouver (Canada) stop stocking pumpkins the day after Halloween. And second: When you bake canned pumpkin puree in the oven, it develops a roasted flavor that tastes a million times better than it does straight from the can! Not going to lie...when we discovered this, we legitimately jumped up and down. The things we get excited about, haha. But just like that, we were sold.
This recipe starts by loading up a baking sheet with the classics: onions, carrots, and celery. It’s like a mirepoix, but without the fuss. Rather than sautéing them over the stove, we’re going to let the oven work its magic. Fresh ginger goes into the oven as well. And just like everything else in this recipe...no, you don’t need to peel it! While the veggies roast, you’ll set a small pot on the stove to quickly cook some red lentils in a fragrant broth of garlic, vegetable stock, curry and cumin. Then at the end, swirl in a can of coconut milk and toss everything in the blender until it's totally smooth.
You can dig into the soup just like that, or you can go as crazy with toppings as you’d like. Think: pepitas, fresh herbs, yogurt, spices. We’ve listed our favorites below. But feel free to get creative...this is an easy way to use up the extra bits kicking around in your fridge and pantry.
Extra soup keep well in the fridge or freezer. We like to tuck away extra servings in the freezer, and defrost them ahead of busy weeks. Or fill a mason jar with soup and keep it in your office fridge for easy lunches during the week. You can thin the soup with extra vegetable stock (or water) until it reaches your desired consistency.
Curried Pumpkin and Lentil Soup (Vegan)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 inch knob of ginger (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 cup dry red lentils (rinsed and picked over)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (use large cloves)
- 3 cups vegetable broth (more to thin, if needed)
- 1½ teaspoons curry powder (more for garnish, optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (14 fl oz/398 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
Garnish ideas (optional)
- Fresh herbs (scallions/green onions or cilantro)
- Toasted pepitas
- Yogurt or sour cream (vegan if needed)
- Red pepper flakes
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Bake vegetables: Add onion, carrots, celery, and ginger to a large nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with grapeseed oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Bake until the edges are beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook lentils: Add red lentils, garlic, broth, curry powder, and cumin to a medium saucepan. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat.
- Add pumpkin, bake again: Use a spatula to push the roasted vegetables to one side of the pan. Spread the pumpkin puree onto the other side of the pan. Return to the oven, and bake until the edges of the puree begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Blend: Scrape the vegetables and pumpkin puree into a blender. Add the lentil coconut mixture. Blend until smooth and creamy. (Thin with extra vegetable stock if desired). Serve hot, topped with garnishes of your choice.
- Blending soups: Use caution when blending warm liquids. You may wish to drape a tea towel over the lid of the blender as an extra precaution, and blend in batches if needed. If your blender cannot handle warm liquids, allow the lentil mixture to cool fully then blend as usual. Soup can be reheated on the stove top, and thinned with vegetable stock until it reaches your desired consistency.