Lentil Butternut Squash Soup is a heartier version of the classic Butternut Squash Fall soup. It's tasty, filling, and very quick to make. Serve this soup with croutons or toasted garlicky pita wedges (recipe included!). You might never go back to regular butternut squash soup.
Adding lentils to butternut squash soup
I came up with this recipe because I LOVE butternut squash soup, but it always leaves me just a little bit hungry. So I made it heartier, richer, and tastier with some lentils.
I think this will be my go-to butternut squash soup recipe now. Lentils add a nice richness and lots of nutrition to this soup.
My super picky toddler even tried and loved it. He was watching me eat the soup, asked for my spoon, and put a great big spoonful into his mouth. He went for 3 more spoonfuls before he decided he doesn't like the texture (it wasn't pureed to 100% smooth because I like to leave a little texture). So I pureed the rest of the soup to make it silky smooth and he loved it as much as I did.
Why you need to make this Lentil Butternut Squash Soup:
- It is just as easy to make as regular butternut squash soup. The only extra step is dumping in about 3/4 cup red or yellow lentils into the soup.
- It is tastier than regular butternut squash soup. It doesn't quite taste like lentils, if you're worried about that. It just tastes good. Comforting. Fall-like.
- Lentils add a ton of nutrients and protein to this soup, making it extra healthy.
- On top of being delicious, it is filling and hearty thanks to the lentils. Oh, and the Toasted Garlic Pita is a must-make to serve with this soup to complete the meal. Trust me on this.
What kind of lentils to use for this soup:
I used these red split lentils for this butternut squash lentil soup. They cook really fast, in just 10 to 15 minutes, and their reddish orange color goes nicely with the orange butternut squash color.
You can use brown lentils or green lentils as well, but they need to cook for 20-25 minutes. This is a bit longer than the butternut squash needs to cook. It's OK to overcook the butternut squash for this soup, since it will mostly be pureed. But if you want to make this soup a quick meal, I recommend getting red split lentils for the quickest results.
To Puree or not to Puree
Do you like silky smooth pureed soups, or do you like a little texture? Either way works well for this soup.
My husband likes the texture of half-pureed soup. He feels like it's more filling that way. My toddler son can't handle that texture because of his picky eating issues, so I puree it smooth for him. I like the soup either way, I'm not that picky.
It's really your preference. If you scroll up, you'll see the first picture of the soup on top is half-pureed, with a few chunks of butternut squash remaining and with the lentils giving the soup some texture. The second photo is silky smooth and 100% pureed.
You can puree the soup with an immersion blender (such as this one) or a regular blender (I LOVE my Blendtec blender). Just make sure you pulse gently, just a few times, if using a regular blender and you want to leave some chunky texture. Otherwise you're going to end up with totally smooth soup (which is not a bad thing).
Lentil Butternut Squash Soup Topping Ideas
A silky smooth soup needs some toppings to give it some pizzazz, in my opinion. Otherwise it's like baby food, which is good, but not as amazing as it could be. So here are some topping ideas for this soup:
- Red pepper flakes - for some spice.
- Smoked paprika - not spicy but adds a nice smokey flavor. This stuff is so good!!
- Cayenne pepper - another option for spice.
- Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's. This stuff is good on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
- Fresh herbs - parsley, thyme, tarragon are great flavor combinations with this soup.
- Creamy topping, such as a swirl of sour cream, coconut milk cream, plain Greek yogurt, or a splash of heavy whipping cream.
Toasted Garlic Pita
I strongly urge you to make garlicky crispy pita wedges to serve with the lentil butternut squash soup. The pita wedges can be prepared while the soup is cooking. Here's how to make these:
- Make a garlicky olive oil by adding a pinch of garlic powder and salt to a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
- Brush the olive oil over a round pita bread. Slice the pita bread into wedges.
- Bake the pita wedges at 400F for 4-8 minutes in an oven or a toaster oven, until desired crispness. Allow to cool before touching - it will get crispier as it cools.
Another great option instead of pita wedges would be to serve this soup with squares of homemade air fryer focaccia bread! It's garlicky and savory, perfect for soup.
Looking for other healthy comfort food soup recipes?
Try these reader favorites:
- Vegan sausage Zuppa Toscana - so hearty, tasty, and yes - vegan!
- Sweet Potato Peanut Soup - yea, it sounds like an off combination but it is a SUPER delicious soup... if you like peanut butter
- Sweet Potato Leek Soup - a healthier twist on the classic potato leek soup, this soup uses sweet potatoes
- Beet & Butternut Squash Soup - this soup has a gorgeous hot pink color thanks to the beets. I include stove-top and Instant Pot instructions
- Potato Turnip Soup - a light, vegan, healthy silky-smooth soup
- Moroccan Spiced Lentil Vegetable Soup - healthy, hearty, vegan, flavorful
- White Bean & Kale Vegetable Soup - loaded with heart-healthy ingredients
- Enoki Mushroom Soup with Soba Noodles and Bok Choy - this one is a great alternative to chicken soup when you're feeling down - the healthy broth has ginger in it to help soothe you and make you feel better. Vegan, light, and comforting
And if you're looking for other butternut squash recipes:
- Butternut squash spinach skillet
- Butternut squash mash with white beans
- Baked chickpeas with butternut squash
- Butternut squash Alfredo pasta
- 20 Butternut squash side dishes
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later:
Red Lentil Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Garlic Pita Wedges
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion - finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 lb butternut squash - peeled and cubed (half a small butternut squash, about 3.5-4 cups)
- 3/4 cups red lentils - uncooked
- Salt & pepper - to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon salt to start if using unsalted vegetable stock)
- Optional: 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream for added richness
- Optional garnish: fresh herbs, smoke paprika, red pepper flakes, sour cream, or a drizzle of heavy cream.
- Prepare all the produce ingredients: Peel and cube the butternut squash, dice the onion, mince the garlic.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add the minced onion and garlic, and saute over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften and turn golden brown.
- Add the cubed butternut squash, 3 cups vegetable stock, and 3/4 cup red lentils. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils and butternut squash are fully cooked. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Use a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender to puree the soup to your liking (I sometimes leave a few chunks of butternut squash for texture!). Stir in heavy cream, if using. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot, garnishing with fresh herbs, spices, or additional cream or sour cream.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the garlicky pita wedges: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Add dried basil, parsley, or chives if using. Stir, and brush onto one side of each pita. Cut each pita into wedges. Toast in a toaster oven, or bake at 400F for 4-8 minutes, or until the pitas are toasted.
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.