Baby, it’s cold outside (I love that song), and we have finally turned on our heating for the winter, which means I can start making soup! Maybe not the most logical of conclusions (why wait?) but I have a thing about eating soup when it is warm out, which it is here for most of the year. So I wait patiently for these few months of winter when I can enjoy a warm bowl of one of my favourite feel good foods, like this red lentil, sweet potato and pumpkin soup, which my son creatively calls “Orange Soup“.
This is a perfect soup for families with picky eaters. Easy to make, and with a slightly sweet flavour, this soup packs a whole range of good for you veggies and filling red lentils, all of which gets pulsed to a beautifully smooth texture that makes it easy for even kids to enjoy. Filled with orange vegetables, this sweet potato and pumpkin soup is also a great choice to settle an unhappy tummy.
What Do You Need to Make This Red Lentil, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup?
Really you can work with whatever vegetables you happen to find in season where you live, but I especially love the wintry combinations in this recipe and like to use a mix of pumpkin (or butternut squash), sweet potato, white potato, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, onion, zucchini, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and a can of sweet corn (including the liquid, though this is optional if you are sensitive to corn). You may also want to add celery, turnip, or any other vegetable with a mild flavour that you want to sneak in there.
In addition to the red lentils, adding a scoop of yellow pea protein powder (like this one) is an easy way to bulk up the soup to be a stand alone meal, to avoid finding yourself looking for a snack an hour or two later. Fighting a cold? The freshly grated fresh ginger and garlic give this red lentil, sweet potato and pumpkin soup an extra zing and ups its immune boosting properties.
Let everything simmer together with some light seasoning (paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, onion salt) in 8 cups of vegetable broth (you’ll need to add more water to cover your vegetables) for a good 40 minutes to an hour. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
When the vegetables have softened nicely, transfer your vegetable soup (both the vegetables and broth) in batches to your food processor or to a tall bowl to be pulsed with a stick blender. (a 14 cup food processor works best for this since you can blend the entire soup in just a few batches)
Be sure to give it a really good blend, making sure you don’t miss any hiding chunks that may turn off your kids. You’ll want to pay attention to how much you are putting in the bowl, keeping in mind that when you start blending the contents will climb the side of the bowl. Don’t fill the bowl more than half way to be sure you don’t end up with soup splattered all over your counter.
When the vegetables and red lentils of the soup have been pureed it will transform into a beautiful orange colour. Transfer it back to the pot, give it a taste test and adjust your seasoning if needed. Then let it simmer for another 10-20 minutes before serving (because it will likely cool down a bit while blending). Serve it up with some crisp garlic bread to get your veggies in before your main course or as a light, warming dinner.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup cubed raw pumpkin or butternut squash
- 4 large carrots
- 1 white potato
- 1 zucchini
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower (optional)
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- ½ inch freshly grated ginger
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 cups canned sweet corn, liquid included (= 1 can; optional)
- ½ cup red lentils
- 6-8 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp onion powder
- Wash and chop all vegetables into large chunks for faster cooking.
- In a large pot heat the vegetable broth.
- Add the lentils, chopped vegetables, corn, and seasoning to the pot.
- Add more water to the pot until all vegetables are well covered.
- Let cook on medium heat for 40-60 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.
- Remove from heat and transfer the soup in batches into a tall bowl or food processor for blending.
- Pulse the soup to a smooth puree.
- Transfer back to the soup pot and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Let simmer on low heat for another 20 minutes.
- Serve hot.
Have some extra sweet potato? Why not try this amazing vegan and gluten-free sweet potato chocolate cake from Eat Your Way Clean.