This recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup uses pantry-friendly ingredients, is quick and affordable to make, with an option for oil-free.
The soup gets its creamy texture from blending the red lentils. No coconut milk required. Blending lentils and beans is one of my favorite ways to thicken soups and sauces. It makes for a more nutritious meal, and it's a cunning way to sneak more legumes into your teen's diet!
Red lentils have a speedy cook time, and with just one pot to clean (and possibly an immersion blender), you'll likely be making this quick and easy soup over and over again. It's also visually appealing, and as the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first.
While this recipe doesn't call for coconut milk, you can add some at the end of the cooking process for another layer of richness and flavor. Or add a splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk for a smoother texture.
This soup was inspired by my Chickpea Miso Pasta Soup, as well as my Creamy Miso Squash & Cauliflower Soup, on this site.
🥣 Why This Recipe is Fabulous
- This recipe is easy, quick, delicious, and nutritious with very little cleanup.
- This soup is rich in protein and fiber which make us feel full quickly, so you are less likely to overeat.
- Make this recipe from start to finish in 35 minutes or less.
📖 How to Make This Recipe
Cook the onion in a little olive oil or vegetable broth for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Cook the garlic with the onion for 30 seconds more. Add the spices and cook for another minute.
Transfer the red lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and butternut squash to the saucepan. Once the liquid has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and the squash is tender.
Transfer two cups of the curry to the blender and blend until mostly smooth. Return the blended soup to the saucepan.
Add vegetable broth, nondairy milk, or coconut milk until the desired consistency. Heat until warmed through.
Add fresh lime juice to taste. Season with salt and black pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
👩🏼🌾 Ingredients & Nutrition
Red lentils may be tiny, but they're packed with protein and fiber. They bust the myth that plant-based diets are lacking in protein. They're inexpensive, versatile, quick cooking, and nutrient-dense. What I love most is that they don't take up much room in my non-existent NYC pantry!
Butternut squash adds a sweet, delicious nutty flavor to this soup. It's high in fiber which slows down the absorption of foods, regulating blood sugar levels. It also has impressive amounts of vitamin A and potassium.
Butternut squash is sometimes referred to as a starchy vegetable, just like potatoes, because it contains higher amounts of carbs than, say, broccoli or green beans. But butternut squash contains complex carbs, which pack in way more nutrients than simple carbs. They’re also higher in fiber and digest more slowly. This makes them more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control.
Using a vegetable peeler, as you would for carrots!
If you find your squash difficult to peel, microwave the whole squash for two to three minutes to help soften the rind. Then cut off both ends, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind.
Yes. For oil-free, cook the onion in vegetable broth and omit the olive oil.
Try these comforting soups and stews.
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Curried Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable broth
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
- 14 ½ ounces diced tomatoes canned, with juice
- 2 cups vegetable broth plus more for cooking
- 1 medium butternut squash cut into ¾-inch pieces (3 cups)
- Coconut milk canned, to taste (optional)
- Unsweetened non-dairy milk to taste (optional)
- Fresh lime juice to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- Cook aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Cook spices: Add the curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala. Cook for 1 minute more.
- Combine: Add the red lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and butternut squash. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil before reducing the heat. Simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and the squash is just tender.
- Blend: Transfer 2 cups of the curry (without the squash) to a blender. Blend until mostly smooth. Return to the saucepan.
- Add liquid: Stir in the desired amount of coconut milk, vegetable broth, or non-dairy milk until the desired consistency. Heat until warmed through, adding more broth, coconut milk, or non-dairy milk as needed.
- Season: Add fresh lime juice to taste. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
- For oil-free, substitute the olive oil for vegetable broth.
- Blend the soup in batches. Do not fill the blender more than half way. Remove the center cap and cover it with a dish cloth so the steam can escape. Hold the cloth down while blending.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.
I made this soup today. I tried omitting the coconut milk, just to see how it tasted. I enjoyed it, but next time I will add coconut milk, as I really enjoy the rich and creamy taste it lends.
I stumbled upon your cookbook as a recommendation on my public library's e-book app and am loving looking through it. I am from the States but am currently in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Sending wishes for continued creativity in your cooking and recipe writing. I look forward to trying more of your dishes!
Welcome! I'm excited to have you here trying my recipes. Thank you. Yes, coconut milk adds creaminess to this recipe. Thank you for supporting my cookbook. Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite soups, I've made it multiple times. I use my immersion blender instead of transferring to a blender. I also use frozen, pre-cut squash because I hate cutting those things. Super simple, super quick, super easy, super delicious.
Those are great tips. Thank you for sharing. So glad it's a hit!
Delicious, also easily enough for 4. I used 100g each of coconut yogurt and soya milk for options. Great autumn meal
Thanks for letting me know. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Have a great evening.
Delicious and hearty. My only comment is that it definitely needed more cooking time. After 20minutes the squash was trill hard and the red lentils were still toothly. I like when the red lentils sort of melt into the liquid. I cooed mine fort another 20 minutes to achieve the desired consistency.
Thanks for sharing your experience Wendy. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Super delicious! Absolutely making this again!
Yay! So glad.Thank you.
This was wonderful! I’m a beginner cook and I was able to get it done + lots of leftovers
Awww so glad t worked out. Thank you.
Fmade this, it was lovely
I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know. Have a great day.
Thank you Ani. xxx
One of your best! 🎯
You made my evening. Thanks for leaving a comment and I'm so happy you liked it:)