Although Halloween is behind us and pumpkin spice latte might be seen as a bit played right now, pumpkin itself is still quite popular, especially with Thanksgiving on the horizon.
If you think pumpkin puree is just for pie, think again! Personally, I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie (it’s likely a texture thing), but I do enjoy using pumpkin in other dishes. Have you ever used it in chili or stew?
Pumpkin has got a lot of nutrition prowess. It’s a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene in addition to being a source of potassium vitamin C and fiber. Canned pumpkin is versatile, accessible, and affordable for most. I’ve never cooked a pumpkin to make pumpkin puree and honestly, don’t see this in my future. If that’s your jam, more power to you! Canned pumpkin is packed in BPA-free cans, so no need to worry about that.
Lentils offer up plenty of fiber, protein, and iron- the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. When lentils are paired with a food high in vitamin C (such as peppers, tomatoes, or hey- pumpkin), your body absorbs more iron. Bonus! They also cook up much faster than other dried beans or legumes.
I made this simple pumpkin chili in my instant pot the other night, but it could also be prepared on the stove. With a handful of ingredients, I had dinner done in roughly 20 minutes! I used chipotle chili powder which gave the chili a smoky taste. Traditional chili powder or extra cumin could be used if chipotle’s not your thing.
If you want to keep the recipe vegan, use vegetable broth. Low-sodium broth would reduce the sodium content of the soup. This is a perfect dish for a tailgate party, book club, or simple dinner with friends or family. If it’s too spicy, add a dash of plain Greek or plant-based yogurt to cool it off. I hope you like it!
1 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
½ white or yellow onion, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. chipotle pepper
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. paprika
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup red lentils
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Set the Instant pot to sautee and add the oil. Allow to heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the onions, peppers and garlic and sautee for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chipotle pepper, cumin and paprika and stir to coat the vegetables.
- Add the broth, lentils, and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine.
- Close the lid of the Instant pot and reset the pot to “soup or stew”.
- All the lentils to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve with plain Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro (optional)
On a stovetop:
- Heat the oil in a medium soup pot.
- Sautee the onions, peppers and garlic until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the chipotle pepper, cumin, and paprika and stir to coat the vegetables.
- Add the broth, lentils, and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine
- Allow the stew to simmer on low for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 190 calories, 2.1 gm fat, 9.5 gm protein, 29 gm carb, 5.6 gm fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 550 gm sodium