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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
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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


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.6 from 5 reviews

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

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)

Instructions

  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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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69 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Hi, I don’t have enough green lentils, can I use some red lentils with the green lentils? Does that change the cook time? Thanks!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Unfortunately, they will get mushy in the same cooking time.

  2. Jen Hansen says:

    Just made this and my house smells wonderful! I hate to be that person, but how large is your serving size? (One cup, two cups, etc.) I know the recipe says 1/6th, but that’s a big hard for me to eyeball.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We didn’t measure, sorry!

  3. Mary Joy says:

    I just tried this amazing recipe and it was delicious! The combination of the sweetness from the butternut squash and the nuttiness from the lentils worked perfectly together. I added a bit of a kick to it with some freshly grated ginger, which really complemented the flavors of this soup. My family absolutely loved it and we all agreed that it was definitely one of the best soups we have ever had.






  4. Gina Panetta says:

    Also, I almost forgot I used collard greens because I couldn’t find any Tuscan kale or Swiss chard and it still is so delicious. Of course you cut out the vein otherwise it’s too bitter.It’s awesome

  5. Barbara Durham says:

    Just made this soup, it tastes good but all the butternut cubes fell apart and melded into the background. Next time I’d wait to put them in (I cooked 20 minutes as suggested). Having said that, if they fall a part it’s a nice variation on butternut squash soup if the squash ends up more like a puree. You still have the other veggies to give it some chunkiness. I used the kale instead of the Swiss chard and it was good in the soup.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Sorry about that! Different squashes can cook at different rates. Thanks for making!

  6. Christine says:

    I made this soup tonight and it was delicious. I like my soups a little thicker so I took about 3 cups out and used the immersion blender to blend it and then added it back into the pot. Then I added chopped swiss chard from my garden at the end. It was the perfect consistency. Loved it!

  7. Ashlan says:

    Do I need to rinse and soak the dry lentils according to bag instructions before adding them to the soup in the last step? Thanks!!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You can rinse them if you want, but no need to soak.

  8. Star says:

    Is there a version of this available for a crock pot? I think I would still sauté the onions before adding, but I was wondering how much time on what temperature I could do this with and if it would turn the butternut squash into mush if I did a crock pot version?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We don’t have a version, sorry!

  9. Alexa Lewis-Rosenfeld says:

    I cooked this tonight for dinner and it was so easy to make and so delicious! My husband said it was so good he was willing to eat soup in the summer:)






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