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This hearty butternut squash lentil soup is a comforting and nutrient dense superfood soup, featuring lentils, kale, and leeks.

Butternut squash lentil soup

Ready for the coziest, most comforting superfood soup? This butternut squash lentil soup tastes like a bowl of sunshine. It’s chock full of beautiful, colorful healthy ingredients, and it tastes surprisingly more delicious than you’d imagine from the humble ingredients. Using leeks brings a complexity to the body of the soup. The only part about this superfood soup that requires some time is chopping the vegetables. You can use that to practice your knife skills — and we’ve listed some time savers below! Keep reading for the butternut squash lentil soup recipe.

Another great lentil soup? Curry Lentil Soup

Butternut squash lentil soup

How to make butternut squash lentil soup

This butternut squash lentil soup is filled with nutrient-rich foods like lentils, butternut squash, leeks, and Swiss chard. It’s also very, very tasty — it gets rave reviews from friends and family alike. In fact, it just might rival our current favorite, Italian White Bean Soup. It’s perfect for a cozy fall dinner, or a warm lunch for a chilly afternoon.

The only time consuming part of this soup recipe is the chopping. It requires quite a bit of vegetable chopping: garlic, carrot, leek, butternut squash, and kale. As a time saver, you could chop all the veggies in advance and refrigerate until making the soup: this could make it a 30 minute meal. Another option is to use frozen cubed butternut squash, which can shave off quite a bit of time.

Related: 12 Best Kale Recipes | 15 Best Lentil Recipes

Butternut squash lentil soup | Superfood soup

How to cut butternut squash

The hardest part of making this butternut squash lentil soup is cutting the butternut squash! How to cut butternut squash? Here’s what Alex and I do: First, slice off top of the squash, then the entire straight neck of the squash. Peel it and peel the round base. Cut the base in half and remove the seeds from each half with a spoon. Slice the neck into strips and then cubes. Then do the same with the rounded bottom part of the squash: slice it into strips and then cubes. Once you know how to cut butternut squash, it’s a breeze to this easy butternut squash lentil soup recipe! See the video below to watch us in action.

Video: How to cut butternut squash

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Butternut squash lentil soup | Dutch oven

How to cut leeks

Except…for how to cut leeks! Cutting leeks can also be a source of confusion. Here’s how we cut leeks: first, we chop off the dark green stems of the leeks and the bottom root, then slice them in half length-wise. Then we place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board and chop it into thin slices, resulting in half-moon shapes. Here’s the important part: rinse the sliced leeks thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt. Because leeks are roots, there’s typically a lot of dirt in the bulb portion! See the video below to watch us in action.

Video: How to cut leeks

Butternut squash lentil soup

Looking for more butternut squash recipes? 

Butternut squash recipes are in the air! Outside of this butternut squash lentil soup recipe, here are a few of our favorite butternut squash recipes:

Related: Best Vegan Dinner Recipes | Quick Coconut Lentil Curry |How to Cook Lentils

Butternut squash lentil soup

This recipe is…

This butternut squash lentil soup recipe is vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

Butternut squash lentil soup

Related: Try using our Homemade Vegetable Broth for this recipe!

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Butternut squash lentil soup

Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This hearty butternut squash lentil soup is a comforting and nutrient dense superfood soup, featuring lentils, kale, and leeks.


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 large leeks or 1 large yellow onion (or a combination; 1 leek and 1 yellow onion works well)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 cups diced; use frozen diced as a time saver)
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale or Swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (we used 6 cups broth and 2 water)
  • 1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)


  1. Mince the garlic. Peel and chop the carrots into half moons.
  2. Chop the leeks (watch the video!): chop off the dark green stems and the bottom roots, then slice each in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin half-moons. Rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt.
  3. Chop the butternut squash (watch the video!): Slice off the neck of the squash and peel it with a vegetable peeler. Peel the base. Slice the base in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice the neck into thin rectangles, then into long slices. Turn the slices the other way and dice. Cut the base into thin slices and then dice into small squares. 
  4. Wash and chop the kale (watch the video!). You can also wait to do this step while the soup simmers in Step 6.
  5. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil; add the leeks or onions and sauté until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the squash, vegetable broth, lentils, thyme, oregano, and kosher salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils and butternut squash are soft (taste test a few). In the last few minutes, add the chopped chard and simmer until tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. If desired, stir in the lemon juice. 
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: butternut squash lentil soup

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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    1. I made this last year and I’m hooked!!! Can’t wait to make it again! :) I’m wondering if you have an estimate of the sodium per serving….I am having to track my sodium intake very closely right now. Thanks

      1. Hi! It’s really going to depend on the brand of broth. From the Morton kosher salt, it would be 320mg per 1/6th portion.

      2. This is a great soup. I did a couple things a little differently. I used lemon olive oil to saute the veggies. I sauteed them in my instant pot and then I use the crock pot setting. I didn’t want to half a bag of lentils so I use the whole bag added more water. I use vegetable soup base to cheat a little so I omitted the salt all together. Added a little more garlic and herbs and it is the bomb. So good.
        Thank you

    1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

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