Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Soup

Wine a Little Cook a Lot

This easy, vegan pumpkin lentil soup recipe is made with warm fall spices and vegetables, make on the stove top or in the instant pot.  It’s the perfect healthy and hearty soup for those cold weather days!

If there's one thing I couldn't go without during these cold winter months (besides heat), is soup.

Lentil soup, tomato soup, split pea soup… you name it, I love it.

If I could only eat soup for the whole fall and winter season I’d be one happy camper.

This vegan lentil soup recipe is made with creamy pumpkin and veggies like tomatoes, carrots and spinach.  It’s got a hint of fall spices too making it cozy, warm and delicious.

Every time I hear “lentil” I think of my daughter, Autumn. 

When I was newly pregnant, I’d check on the pregnancy app to see what size she was comparable to each week.

One of those earlier weeks, she was just the size of a lentil, so my sister jokingly nicknamed her “lentil”.

Not knowing if she’d be a boy or girl, we got sick of calling her “it”, so lentil stuck and to this day we still call her my little lentil.

So in a way this lentil soup reminds me of my sweet baby girl :).

Pumpkin Lentil Soup Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • onions
  • celery
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • garlic
  • tomato paste
  • diced tomatoes
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon, allspice, rosemary, sage
  • smoked paprika
  • bay leaf
  • lentils
  • vegetable broth
  • pumpkin puree
  • spinach

As with most of my recipes, feel free to switch up the ingredients to your liking:

Substitute spinach for kale or swiss chard…swap out the sweet potato for butternut squash or regular potatoes.

This pumpkin lentil soup recipe is totally vegan but you could certainly add sausage or ham if you wanted to!

How to make easy, vegan lentil soup:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrots and sweet potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and veggies are softened, about 5-7 minuets.  
  2. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 minute.  Then add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, rosemary, sage, smoked paprika and bay leaf, stir and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, vegetable broth and water.  Stir and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Stir in pumpkin puree. 
  4. Using an immersion blender, transfer about 1 cup of the soup to a shallow cup or bowl and blend until creamy.  Add mixture back to soup and stir.  (If you don’t have an immersion blender you can do this in your regular blender).
  5. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper if needed then remove from heat.

You can also make this easy lentil soup in your instant pot!

To make the lentil soup in your instant pot:

  • Add oil to bottom of your instant pot . Set to the sauté function, and add the onion, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, and garlic. Saute for about 8-10 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, spices, bay leaf, lentils, vegetable broth and water. Cover, and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for an additonal 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the pumpkin. If you want a creamier soup, blend about 1-2 cups of the mixture in your blender or using a hand blender.
  • Stir in the spinach and serve.

Do lentils need to be soaked?

Lentils do not need to be soaked!  You can give them a quick rinse before adding them to the soup to remove any debris.

You also do not need to cook the lentils before adding them to the soup, they will cook perfectly if you add them straight into the soup.

What goes well with pumpkin lentil soup?

This soup is filled with veggies, protein and fiber on it’s own but I suggest serving a piece of crusty bread to dip in that delicious broth.

And if you’re not too concerned with carbs, you can make a grilled cheese to go with your cozy lentil soup :).  I’m always a sucker for grilled cheese and soup!

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North Scituate, RI

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