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Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

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Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale is comforting and nutrient-dense, thanks to the butternut squash, lentils, kale, and leeks.

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale
Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

This vegetarian butternut squash lentil soup is like a bowl of comfort – the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. This colorful soup, made with healthy ingredients, tastes delicious. The cooked leeks give complexity to the body of the soup. For even more lentil soup recipes, try my Lebanese Lentil Soup, Red Lentil Soup with Spinach, and Instant Pot Chicken and Lentil Soup.

Butternut Lentil Soup

This soup is also dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. It’s all made in one pot and freezes great. Leftovers are perfect for lunch.

Do lentils need to be soaked?

No, lentils do not need to be soaked like beans do, which saves a lot of time.

Are you supposed to peel butternut squash before cooking?

Yes, it’s best to peel butternut squash before cooking since the skin can be very tough. If you’re short on time, buy your butternut squash peeled and pre-cut from the supermarket.

How to Freeze Lentil Soup:

This butternut squash, kale, and lentil soup is great for meal prep. It freezes wonderfully, so you can save it for dinner on a night when you don’t have time to cook. Freeze the soup in glass food containers or in zip-locked bags laid flat in your freezer for up to three months.

Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or on the stove. If you forget to thaw the night before, you can microwave the frozen soup in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval.

Lentil Soup Variations:

  • Sub sweet potato for the butternut squash if you prefer.
  • Feel free to use curly kale if you can’t find Lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan kale. You can also switch the kale for another leafy green like spinach or Swiss chard.

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale with a spoonLentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

More Lentil Recipes You’ll Love:

Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

4.93 from 40 votes
Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale is comforting and nutrient-dense, thanks to the butternut squash, lentils, kale, and leeks.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 2 leeks white part only, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound peeled and diced butternut 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 ounces green lentils (1/3 cup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 cups packed chopped lacinato kale stems removed


  • Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • When hot, add oil, then add onion, carrots, leeks and celery, reduce heat and cook about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the broth, bay leaf and lentils and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until halfway cooked, 20 minutes.
  • Add the butternut and cook until tender, about 15 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add the kale and cook 7 minutes longer until the kale is tender.

Last Step:

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To Freeze: Let the soup cool then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.
To reheat, transfer to the refrigerator the night before then reheat on the stove or microwave.


Serving: 1 1/3 cups, Calories: 122 kcal, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 1.5 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Sodium: 309.5 mg, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 8 g



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81 comments on “Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale”

  1. Not sure if it was because I didn’t have celery but, I found this to be slightly on the bland side. I took out some of the squash and pan sautéd it with a tiny bit of EVOO and 2 minced garlic cloves. Once browned, I added back to the soup and brought the pot back to a low boil. Seems to have fixed the flavor for me. I also added 1/2 of a lemon and some cilantro when serving. Overall super great/healthy recipe as per usual Gina!

  2. Ok this was way better than I expected. Very flavorful and filling. I added about 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast. Otherwise followed the recipe to the T. I loved it! Thanks for another delicious and healthy recipe!

  3. Great soup! My husband said we should make this again because he liked it so much! I had trouble keeping him from exceeding the serving size.

  4. This soup is absolutely delicious. It is easy to make and so tasty! I followed recipe exactly, just used curly kale instead because I like it better. Perfection!

  5. So yummy! Made for lunches for the week. 
    Will be making again and freezing some for when baby is born and no time to cook! 

  6. Avatar photo
    Lucia de Dios

    We loved this soup! Even my 18 month old daughter really liked it. Will definitely make it again 🙂

  7. This was delicious! I added some cayenne pepper to give it a little punch. Definitely will make again!

  8. This sounds so delicious and filling! I have everything needed to make except for the leeks. Is there something that would be a good substitute? 

  9. I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe! It even impressed my anti-vegetarian boyfriend asked for seconds. 

  10. I made this last night and it was delicious! I used spinach instead of kale, as I had some in the fridge already. My whole family enjoyed it and I’ll definitely make it again. Filling and yummy!

  11. Really excited to make this based on all the reviews. We were unable to find green lentils at our store, just regular brown lentils. Is that ok? 

  12. This was delicious! I cooked in the pressure cooker for 20 mins and did natural release. As soon as we finished eating I sent the recipe to several friends. 

  13. I made this today, and I used 2 32oz veg stock, the whole small 6oz Can of tomato paste. I think it was amazing before adding salt and pepper so I only added a little. I am trying the weight loss plan and every recipe has been so much better than eating out. Thank you so much 😊 I’ll update as I go with weight loss progress 😘 

  14. Avatar photo
    Davina Gorsh

    I want to make this but I am only pantry cooking right now, I don’t have lentils. I have split peas and yellow split peas. Is there something else I can put in there? I have everything else. 

    1. Avatar photo
      MEriem HMaidouch

      I think the yellow ones will work. The taste of the green one is different, i dont think it goes well with butternut squash. There are so many recipes for the green split peas.

  15. Avatar photo
    Melissa Kitchen

    This is delicious. Couldn’t believe the flavor. There’s hardly any seasonings in it. Wow We will definitely be making this again. very satifisying.