Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup with Chard

SonjaMain Courses, Soups24 Comments

Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

We hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week had a lovely holiday. We had a wonderful day with family and friends — and a restful Friday afterwards lazing around the house, which is something we don’t do terribly often.

Now that the holiday is over, we know many of you (ourselves included) are looking forward to some “detox” meals to cleanse from the heavy holiday food. This soup is perfect for that, filled with nutrient-rich foods like lentils, butternut squash, leeks, and chard. It’s also pretty tasty — it got rave reviews from our recipe tester, Katelyn. This soup just might rival our current favorite, Italian White Bean Soup.

And if you’re in Midwestern America (or perhaps other places in the country), it’s possible you can find most of the ingredients at your local market!  We picked these up at Indy Winter Farmer’s Market, where you’re likely to find us on Saturday mornings if you’re an Indy local.

Speaking of the market, it was so great to see all of you last week at our Green Mango Cafe cookbook signing!  It is so encouraging to meet people and have support for the book. It means so much to us. We’re also excited to announce that the Indy Winter Market is now our second retail location! You can pick up a copy of our cookbook at the front desk every Saturday from 9:00-12:00 from now until the market ends in April. (Our first retail location is The Village Experience in Broad Ripple – check out our Cookbook page for more details.)

We are so thankful for YOU, our readers!  It is such a joy to explore food together.

And — a shout out to our favorite fan of lentils. We think you’ll enjoy this new offering :)

Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup
Serves: 4 to 6
What You Need
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (we used 6 cups broth and 2 water)
  • 1½ cups brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine (optional)
What To Do
  1. Mince 4 garlic cloves. Peel and chop 3 carrots into small pieces. Chop off the dark green stems of 3 leeks and the bottom root, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices (resulting in half-moon shapes). Rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the halves with a vegetable peeler, then chop them into small pieces. Wash the chard, remove the stems, and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; add the leeks and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the squash, 8 cups vegetable broth, 1½ cups lentils, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes until the lentils are soft. In the last 2 minutes, add the chopped chard and simmer until tender. Taste, then add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. If desired, add a tablespoon of white wine to finish.

24 Comments on “Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup with Chard”

    1. Sonja

      Oh, fun to hear about another Minnesotan! I’m from there originally — though now I claim Indianapolis as my home :) Hope it hits the spot!

  1. Jess

    This looks so delicious that I want to make it tonight. Only problem – I don’t have chard or leeks, but I do have spinach and onion. Do you think the recipe would still come out well with these substitutions?

    1. Alex

      I think it should work fine — leeks have their own special deliciousness, but onions won’t be bad. And, the spinach will be a great substitute.

  2. Julie Funderburk

    As soon as I saw this I had to make it. I love everything in this soup. I should have taken your recommendation of doing 6 cups broth with 2 cups water. I just tasted it and its a wee bit salty for me. So I added a cup and a half of water and it balanced it out. This soup is for dinner tonight along with some crusty yummy bread! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Jen Holman

    This looks amazing and so hearty! I love how you two are always coming up with unique, innovative dishes. Keep up the good work — you’re making me look great in the kitchen :)

  4. Patricia

    Made this last night and it was delicious. We did decide that we didn’t need a partial bag of lentils laying around, so we used the whole bag, just adding water (about 4 cups, I think) to keep it from getting too thick. And we served it with a dollop of non-fat plain greek yogurt atop each bowlful. Yummie!

  5. Lindsay

    Stumbled across this recipe last night while looking for something to do with the butternut squash that I had on hand. This is such a great change from all of the pureed butternut squash soups out there. My husband and I loved it! Thank You!

  6. Kelly

    Lovely as usual. My two year old ate it up! Perfect for using up the CSA bag on a blustery evening! I used chicken broth with the same ratio as above and it was great.

    1. Sonja

      Oh, you are so welcome! That is so wonderful to hear, especially about your son too — thank you so much for letting us know!

  7. Halley Immelt

    When I went vegan, our family tradition was to start making a dish called “veggieducken,” which came from a recipe we found on NPR. It’s so good I could eat it any day, but that would spoil the tradition. Luckily, I found this soup recipe and it tastes just like veggieducken! Thank you so much for sharing this… it’s a new favorite.

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