IT’S FALL!! As I type this, a very crisp breeze is blowing through my window, a pair of fluffy new slippers are on my feet, and a Tupperware container of this curried pumpkin and red lentil soup is now in my fridge, awaiting many more days of blissful consumption.
This recipe was a total improvisation, so there are probably some tweaks that can be made here and there. I cut/scooped seeds out of/peeled a whole pumpkin, but I bet you can used canned pumpkin and get similar results with significantly less fuss. Any of the spices can be adjusted to your taste, or you can add anything I didn’t include! Consider the recipe below a set of loose guidelines. Easy, forgiving, and oh-so-cozy. As the fall should be.
curried pumpkin and red lentil soup
1 small sugar pumpkin; peeled, de-seeded, and cut into cubes*
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup red lentils, washed and soaked at least 1 hr
1 15.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
1.5 Tbsp red curry paste
1 cup chicken broth
Juice from 1 lime
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste
Roasted and salted pepitas, for topping
*I found it easiest to cut the top of the pumpkin, scoop out some of the seeds with a spoon, then cut the pumpkin vertically into two halves. I then scooped the seeds/stringy fibers out of each half, sliced the halves into thinner segments, and cut each segment into a few chunks. From there I cut the rind off each individual chunk. This was a bit time-consuming, but it felt like the safest way! Feel free to use canned pumpkin if this amount of work seems excessive!
1. Prepare all ingredients: chop onion, grate ginger, mince garlic, and cut pumpkin into cubes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking tray by lining it with aluminum foil.
2. Place the pumpkin cubes into a bowl and drizzle with ~1/2-1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and mix so pumpkin cubes are evenly coated. Spread the cubes on the foil-lined baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for ~15-20 minutes, until just starting to get soft. When done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. Heat 1-1.5 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until translucent, ~2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook until fragrant, ~1 minute.
4. Add the roasted pumpkin, lentils, chicken broth, curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice and bay leaves to the saucepan. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
5. Let the mixture simmer, covered, for ~15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove from heat, fish out bay leaves, and let cool ~5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together. Blend to desired texture. Add salt to taste (I used a fairly generous amount). Serve immediately, topped with pepitas or other desired toppings, or let cool and store in fridge.