Curried lentil soup with coconut milk

I have officially started the pumpkin challenge over here at my house.  I decided to start with the curried pumpkin lentil soup inspired by Yummy Mummy Kitchen.  I have made lentil soup several times in the past, but I've never added coconut milk - until now.  The coconut milk was an excellent addition and really made the curry flavor pop.

I also made several changes to the original recipe.  I added cubed butternut squash, celery, and carrots and added an entire can of coconut milk.

I was so pleased with how this recipe turned out.  It is officially my new favorite lentil soup and is healthy to boot!

This recipe will easily feed 8 people and is even better when garnished with some fresh greens (green onion or cilantro), sour cream or greek yogurt and cheese.  

Ingredient list:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large sweet apple, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 medium butternut squash, seeded and chopped into cubes (approx. 3-4 cups)
10 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 can pumpkin puree
3 teaspoons curry powder (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt, to taste
2 1/4 cups dried red lentils (green lentils would work great too)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I used reduced fat)

For garnish (optional):

Fresh green onion or cilantro, chopped
Sour cream or greek yogurt
Cheese of choice
Pumpkin seeds for a little crunch

Method:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the apple, carrot, celery and butternut squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Add water (or vegetable broth) and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low.  Add pumpkin puree and stir well.  Add all your spices- curry powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add lentils and coconut milk, stir and cover.  Cook on low heat for 1-2 hours until thickened.  Adjust spices and salt to taste.  Serve in bowls and garnish with some fresh greens, sour cream, cheese and pumpkin seeds (all optional).  Enjoy!

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