Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup

Pumpkin – jammed with antioxidants you can use, yet neutral enough in flavor to take on the other seasonings– grounds this delightful soup for the season.

The red lentils add robust texture, protein content, and lush color, delivering the ultimate comfort food.  Toss in some coconut for added creaminess and a squeeze of lemon – enhancing nutrition and putting a nice finishing touch on the flavor – and you have the ultimate Fall comfort food.  Serve with brown rice or a good crusty sourdough bread on the side to complement the curry flavor, sprinkle with cilantro (or parsley if you prefer) for color contrast, and you’re all set.


1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (I use a zester)

15oz can pumpkin purée, or two cups fresh pumpkin (even butternut squash will do) cooked and pureed

1 cup dry red lentils

5 cups vegetable broth

1 cup light coconut milk (you can replace with vegetable broth if you prefer or don’t have coconut milk)

1 Tbsp curry vindaloo powder (or other curry powder of your choice)

Fresh lemon juice, about 1 Tablespoon

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro, chopped, about 2 tablespoons, as top decoration


  1. Lightly saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large pot over medium heat with a small amount of the vegetable broth, until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add the pumpkin purée, red lentils, broth, coconut milk, and curry powder. Stir to combine.
  3. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft. The soup will thicken as the lentils cook. Taste to adjust the curry powder or salt as needed, then serve in bowls with a sprinkle of the chopped cilantro on top.


Chef’s note:  I also like to serve this with a dollop of cashew cream or tofu sour cream atop the bowl and beneath the sprinkle of cilantro – not necessary, but a nice touch if you have it on hand.  Also, leftover can be reheated, thickened, and served over rice or other whole grain – the ‘next day’ flavor blend is divine.

Yield:  serves 4 – 6


About the Author: 

lani-muelrathLani Muelrath, MA, is an award-winning teacher, best-selling author, and dynamic speaker well known for her expertise in mindful, plant-based, active living – a message she carries to people around the country through her books, talks, and television appearances. Lani is the author of The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transition to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight (VegNews Magazine Top Media Pick 2015) and Fit Quickies: 5-Minute Workouts (2013). She has been featured on ABC-TV and CBS-TV; in Preventionmagazine, USA Today, and The Saturday Evening Post. Lani is a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Graduate as well as a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Certified Behavior Change Specialist, Advanced Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and associate faculty in Health at Butte College, where her book has been adopted as required text. Lani is currently working on her next book, The Mindful Vegan, coming out in 2017.