This traditional fall soup is a delicious, low-calorie, vegetarian, gluten-free meal for any season. Easy-to-make Red Lentil Pumpkin soup also has amazing nutritional benefits for breastfeeding moms and their babies.
A Powerhouse of Healthy Ingredients for Moms and Babies
All women need extra protein during pregnancy. Beans and lentils are an excellent source, containing about 15 grams per cup. They're also high in fiber, which helps combat constipation. And 1 cup of cooked lentils meets half of your daily folate requirement.
The bright orange color of pumpkin also tells you it’s loaded with beta carotene, an important antioxidant, and vitamin C, to help build a strong immune system. All can help enhance the overall health of both mom and baby. Plus, adding fresh ginger root helps increase breast milk production and the let-down reflex.
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes (15 if pureeing soup in blender)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30-45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1, 15 oz can pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For garnish, optional
- 3 tablespoons plan low-fat yogurt
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seed kernels, or pepitas
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Note: 1 tablespoon curry powder can be substituted for the cumin and cinnamon if curry flavor is desired.
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and onion. Sauté onion several minutes until translucent or soft. Do not brown.
- Add garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add 3 cups broth, lentils, cumin, salt, cinnamon and red pepper. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- This next step is not necessary; however, if a smooth soup is preferred, allow the mixture to cool for several minutes, then blend, a few cups at a time, in a blender, making sure lid is tightly secured. Return mixture to pot.
- Stir in remaining one cup of broth and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat for several minutes until hot.
- Stir in grated ginger and lemon juice. Add more broth if thinner soup is desired.
- Ladle into bowl and serve topped with a little yogurt, pumpkin seeds and parsley or cilantro.
Makes four, 1 ½ cup servings.
Per serving: 162 calories; 4.3g total fat (0.5g saturated, 0.4g polyunsaturated, 2.6g monounsaturated); 148.3mg sodium; 0.0mg cholesterol; 26.2g carbohydrate; 10.9g fiber; 8.6g sugars; 7.1g protein; 262.9mg potassium.