I think making this Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup is a good idea. Not only is it totally delicious, fairly simple to make, it is also really healthy.
What Makes This Pumpkin And Red Lentil Soup So Good?
The best thing is the flavors. This is a Southwest-style soup, so not only do you have the lentils, black beans, and pumpkin, but you also have the warming flavors of southwest spices.
This is a healthy, but hearty soup. It is loaded with yummy veggies and lentils, but it is filling as well.
It is also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. I am telling you, this soup is good for everyone!
It also makes really good meal prep. This is simple to reheat and I think it tastes even better in a day or 2.
- Olive oil- this is used for sauteing
- Celery- This is always a staple in my soup making
- Onions- Another must-have in soups
- Garlic- Of course, garlic. Always garlic
- Black beans- You can use other balck beans, but I really love black beans. Especially when you are making southwest flavored dishes.
- Rotel- If you don't know what this is, it is a can of tomatoes and peppers blended. They have difference spice levels, I prefer the original. It is spicy, but not too spicy.
- Red Lentils- I will discuss this later. There are other options, but this is the one I like.
- Pumpkin Puree- This will add flavor, but also adds to the creaminess.
- Vegetable Stock- You can also use chicken stock if you prefer.
- Chili Powder- for southwesten spice, this is a must.
- Cumin- a classic southwest flavor as well.
- Black pepper and salt
- Cilantro- for topping
Notes On Making The Pumpkin Lentil Soup
I used canned pumpkin in this soup to save time. If you wanted to cook your own, you can do it in 2 ways. First is you can roast it yourself. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast at 400 degrees until tender.
The next way is you can peel the pumpkin, cut it into small cubes, and cook it in the soup. Or, cook those cubes on their own in veggies stock, puree, and add it to the soup.
You can also use chicken stock if you want in this recipe. I used veggie stock as I was keeping this vegetarian.
You will need to stir this soup on the regular when you are cooking it. Pumpkin and lentils will tend to burn if you aren't watching them.
When you are reheating, simply throw it in the microwave for a few minutes, or heat it on the cooktop.
What Lentils Are Best For This Soup
I used red lentils in this soup, but have also used green and brown as well. Green holds their shape a little better, so you can see them more in the soup.
As far as flavor goes, any type of lentil work well with the recipe. The change in lentils does not affect the flavor at all. Those strong southwest spices kind of take over a bit!
Health Benefits Of Lentils
There are a lot of really healthy veggies in this soup, but let's talk about the lentils. You may also hear them referred to as pulses as well.
They are a great source of protein, but also low in fat. This makes them similar to beans.
If you are looking for alternative protein sources than meat, lentils are a great choice.
They are also high in many vitamins and minerals, such as iron, folate, zinc, and calcium.
Another thing to love is they are generally really inexpensive, making them a great healthy option to add to your diet. We all know it can be a little more expensive to eat healthy, but not with lentils.
How To Make The Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
- This soup is simple to throw together. I start by sauteing my onions and celery. This will only take a few minutes, but the flavor is worth it.
- Heat oil over medium heat and add the onions, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes and add the garlic.
- Saute another 3 minutes or so.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and cook until the lentils are tender.
- Make sure to stir occasionally as it will burn on the bottom if you aren't careful.
- That is it! Now sit back enjoy.
Cooking Pot Recommendations
As with most soups, it is important to have a good pan with a thick bottom. I have loved my Lodge Cast Iron, and highly recommend it!
It is an enameled cast iron that holds and distributes heat well.
Just be mindful you don't use anything that will scratch off the enamel. I like to use wooden spoons or heat-resistant rubber spatulas.
That is it. It really is that simple. It is so good the day of, but also so good as leftovers for meal prep.
You can also add grated cheese on top if you like. I served ours with charred tortillas, I love them with this.
You can also serve it with fresh cornbread or rolls as well. That is also really good!
FAQ Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
Yes, you can. In an airtight container, this can be frozen for up to 2 months! Simply thaw and reheat when you need a quick meal. You can also thaw in the fridge overnight too.
You can also use butternut squash if you like. It will add sweetness and creaminess like the pumpkin.
You can always microwave it for a few minutes. This is the easiest. If you prefer to heat on the cooktop, that is great too. Just make sure to stir occasionally so it won't burn on the bottom of the pan.
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Southwestern Vegetable Soup with Pumpkin and Lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped celery I used a large size on mine, but if you prefer a smaller dice, do that
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained
- 2 15 ounce cans rotel
- 1 cup dried red lentils You really can use any lentil you have on hand.
- 1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt You may need to add more after the soup has cooked and reduced. Don't add it until the end though. Also, if you stock is pretty salty, reduce this salt to ½ teaspoon.
- 1 cup chopped cilantro plus extra for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once it has heated, add celery and onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender. Add in garlic and cook another minute. Add in remaining ingredients and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 25-35 minutes. Now, depending on the actual temp of your cooktop, you may be running hotter than mine. If this is the case, you might need to add in more water at some point. If this happens, add in 2 cups and continue to cook until the veggies and lentils are tender. After the soup has cooked, test for seasoning. If you need to add more. You can serve this soup just like it is. You can top with cilantro, grated cheese, red onions, sour cream, or whatever you are into. We also served our soup with charred tortillas. If you aren't into this, you can always do bread or crackers. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!