Not your average pumpkin soup, my vegan Pumpkin Lentil Soup is smooth, creamy and packed with flavor. While still providing enough protein to be a complete meal, thanks to the red lentils! Perfect to eat as a main dish for lunch or dinner, served alongside warmed Naan bread or a slice of your favorite crusty bread.
If you're a sucker for a good pumpkin soup recipe like me, then you'll want to try my other pumpkin soup recipes - Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Soup, Roast Pumpkin & Leek Soup Recipe, 3 Ingredient Butternut Squash or my Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk (for something a little extra).
What's To Love About Pumpkin Lentil Soup
- source of protein - red lentils are an excellent source of vegetarian, plant-based protein, providing 12 grams per serve of soup.
- plant based - this recipe is completely vegan and plant based.
- allergy friendly - this delicious creamy pumpkin soup recipe is free from common allergens like dairy, nuts and gluten.
- simple ingredients - sometimes the best recipes are those that use the most simple ingredients. With easy to find ingredients like pumpkin, red lentils and vegetable stock, this is a modest recipe with plenty of flavor!
- highly nutritious - this soup is high in nutrients like Vitamin A, beta carotene, dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
- easy soup recipe - my pumpkin lentil soup is the perfect, filling soup with warm flavors, perfect for this soup season!
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
Below is a list of all of the ingredients that you will need to make this simple recipe, perfect for pumpkin season! I've also included any possible substitutions and ingredients notes that may help you. The ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Kent pumpkin - for this recipe I have used kent pumpkin (also known as Japanese pumpkin) as it has a lovely flavour and a slightly higher water content then some other pumpkins. You can also use butternut squash (also known as butternut pumpkin) for this recipe in place of Kent pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin is required for this recipe, I wouldn't recommend canned pumpkin puree.
- Split red lentils - I've used split red lentils and not whole red lentils. This reduces the cooking time as you can add the dried lentils straight to the soup without cooking them. You can opt to use brown lentils, however they would need to be precooked before adding them to the soup.
- Red pepper flakes - the red pepper flakes are optional, but great for adding a little spice if that's what you're into!
- Spices - in this recipe I've used cumin seeds, turmeric and mustard seeds to give that dahl type flavor, which works in so nicely withe the red lentils.
- Fresh ginger - the ginger needs to be peeled and then finely grated. You can use ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger in place of fresh ginger if need be but fresh is preferred.
- Fresh garlic cloves - you can swap the fresh garlic cloves for a teaspoon of garlic powder, however fresh is better in this recipe. Peel the cloves of garlic and then mince or finely grate.
- Vegetable broth - if you're not vegan or vegetarian then you can also use chicken stock or chicken broth. You can also just use water in place of broth or stock, however veggie broth or stock adds an extra boost of flavor and nutrients. I've used my homemade vegetable stock for this recipe.
- Brown onion, large carrot & celery - all of these ingredients are essential to the flavor of the soup.
- Extra virgin olive oil - in place of extra virgin olive oil you can use butter, ghee or coconut oil.
- Tomato puree - the tomato puree (also known as tomato paste) adds a depth of flavor to this soup.
How to Make Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Follow my step-by-step guide to see how to make this simple yet delicious pumpkin and red lentil soup.
First, prepare the pumpkin by slicing into thinner segments, carefully removing the skin from each segment and then removing the pumpkin seeds. Dice the pumpkin and set aside.
Next, in a large pot or large dutch oven add the olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, turmeric and mustard seeds. Stir to release the flavors. Once the spices become fragrant, add the ginger and garlic, stirring until fragrant.
Add in the diced onion, celery and carrot to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent. It is important to continue stirring the mix so that it doesn't burn.
Now add the pumpkin, tomato puree and stock to the pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils and bring the pot to the boil. Once boiling reduce to low and simmer until the pumpkin and lentils are tender. The pumpkin should break apart easily with a fork.
Once the pumpkin is tender, remove the soup from the heat. Carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
Taste and season with extra salt if desired. Serve this vegan pumpkin soup hot, topped with your favorite yogurt (I've used coconut yogurt) as well as chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- extra spicy - this soup is already mildly spicy thanks to the red pepper flakes. Add chili powder or cayenne pepper for even more spice.
- coconut - add 400mL tin of creamy coconut milk for a creamier style soup.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Lentil Soup Recipe
This pumpkin soup is so flavorsome that you don't HAVE to serve it with anything, but if you did want to level it up then here are some suggestions.
- warmed naan bread
- grilled cheese sandwich
- a fresh loaf of crusty bread spread with butter
- topped with shredded chicken for even more protein
I love this soup for how well it freezes! I would recommend freezing in individually portioned containers so that you can easily grab it out of the freezer and reheat for when the pumpkin soup craving hits. It also keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just keep it in the pot that you cooked it in, the whole soup can be reheated up to 3 times. Or reheat your desired amount.
- Sharp knife
- Chopping Board
- Large soup pot
- Immersion blender
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 knob ginger peeled finely grated
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 1 brown onion finely diced
- 1.5 kilograms japanese pumpkin skin and seeds removed, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- sea salt to season
- Bring a large pot to a medium heat. Add olive oil and then the cumin seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds and red chilli flakes. Sauté, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and stir, sautéing until fragrant.
- Next, add the carrot, onion and celery to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent .
- Add the pumpkin, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Stir until well combined. Add the lentils and stir through.
- Bring the pot to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, simmering until the pumpkin and lentils are soft and tender.
- Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to carefully blend the soup until smooth. Alternatively, cool the soup to room temperature before transferring to a blender to blend until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm topped with natural yogurt and chili flakes if desired.