Pumpkin, Leek & Red Lentil Soup

This is a great recipe to introduce yourself to lentils. It is also a wonderful recipe for those who say they do not like lentils as you purée the soup so nobody will know they are there! Lentils not only help to thicken this soup, they also add fibre and protein which both help to lower the GI and keep you full for longer. I like to use Jap pumpkin for this soup as it goes really soft when cooked and has a lovely flavour. I also like to leave the skin on the pumpkin. It speeds up preparation time, adds more nutrients and again, as the soup is puréed, nobody will ever know!

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed well and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1 kg Jap pumpkin, unpeeled, deseeded, roughly cut into 2-cm pieces
  • 1 cup (200 grams) red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups (½ litre) vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • Pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • Natural or Greek-style yoghurt, optional
  • Fresh coriander leaves


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When hot, add the oil and the leek and cook for 8 minutes or until soft. If the leek starts to stick or get too brown, just add a little water.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin, lentils, stock and water.
  5. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Simmer partially covered, for 10–15 minutes or until the pumpkin and lentils are soft.
  7. Using a stick blender or food processor, carefully blend until smooth.
  8. Season with pepper. Ladle into serving bowls.
  9. Top with yoghurt, if using, and coriander to serve.

Tips: Use organic pumpkin if possible.

The smaller you cut the pumpkin, the faster it will cook.

Leeks are in season in winter, but if unavailable, replace with a large brown onion.

This recipe can be used as a base for other vegetables soups. Simply swap the Jap pumpkin for the same weight of other vegetables such as cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, sweet potato or a mix of vegetables (e.g. celery, carrot and sweet potato).

Store cold cooked soup in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Recipe from “veggie-licious” – how to cook with lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu and eat more plant-based foods by Caroline Trickey – Culinary Dietitian & Nutritionist, find out more here.

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