This hearty curry recipe is perfect for fall! Adding pumpkin not only makes this fun, but it also increases the nutrition! Red lentils cook faster than brown, but if you want to use brown lentils, go ahead, you will just have to cook the dish longer.
1 yellow onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 to 5 cloves garlic (more if you like garlic!, less if you don’t)
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 15oz. can pumpkin purée
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup dry red lentils* (You can use brown lentils, but you will need to increase the cooking time to 40 minutes instead of 20)
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup peanut butter (optional)
Optional spice add-ins: 1 teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional add veggie add-ins: vegetables of any kind (potatoes, peas, carrots, broccoli) just add the last 10 minute of simmering
Place lentils in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with water (about 2 cups). Place in the microwave and cook for 3-5 minutes on 50% power so that the water doesn't overflow. Drain the water before adding the lentils to the curry. This just helps the lentils get soft so they cook faster. You can skip this step if you want, or just soak the lentils on hot tap water.
Dice the onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide saucepan or pot over high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add onion and stir until coated with oil. Immediately turn the heat down to medium.
Cook the onion for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until it is soft, see through and starting to turn brown. Stir it occasionally so it cooks evenly.
While the onion is cooking, mince the garlic, and grate or finely chop the ginger. When the onion is mostly done, add the 1 T finely chopped (minced) garlic, 1 T grated ginger and 1 T curry powder to the onions. Stir and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Be careful, garlic burns fast. (if adding the extra spices that are listed above, stir them in now).
Next, add 3 C veggie or chicken broth, 1 can of coconut milk, 1 can of pumpkin and 1 cup lentils (if you pre-soaked them, be sure to drain the water first). Stir to combine and turn heat to high.
Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
***If you want to cook this ahead of time, you can prepare the recipe up to this step and pour it in a crock pot to finish cooking. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.
If you want to add more vegetables, add them in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Stir in the peanut butter (if using) at the end, taste the soup and add salt to taste. Serve over hot rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.