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
Print WW Personal Points
4.93 from 40 votes
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Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale

122 Cals 4 Protein 25 Carbs 1.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: American
Lentil Soup with Butternut and Kale is comforting and nutrient-dense, thanks to the butternut squash, lentils, kale, and leeks.


  • 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.


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: 11/3 cups, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 309.5mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 8g
Keywords: lentil soup, lentil soup with butternut, vegan lentil soup, vegetarian lentil soup


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  1. Delicious and healthy. Perfect for cold weather. I didn’t have any leeks on hand and the recipe turned out well regardless. I served the soup with bread.

  2. The soup surely was healthy and tasty but a bit bland. It wasn’t one of our favorites of all the wonderful recipes Gina provides.

  3. I made this and it’s so good.
    However, I made the following additions: doubled the lentils to 2/3 cup, added 1 tsp of garam masala, a tsp of cumin and a half tsp of turmeric. I also used my instant pot and set it for 12 minutes. I added the kale after the 12 minutes, and just stirred it in.
    So good!!!

  4. This was perfect for our first snow of the season! I don’t usually cook with lentils and leeks, so I was curious about the taste. It was delicious! I cooled it and portioned it out for my lunches this week. 

  5. My store has no leeks. What item and amount is a good substitute?

  6. I food-saved this so I could have a nice hot lunch and not a sandwich. Fantastic! Ingredients held up to freezing and microwaving.

  7. This has been the only recipe I didn’t care for….tasted pretty plain. Probably just my own tastes didn’t agree, tasted a bit like dirt. Recipe came together just fine.

  8. I very rarely leave reviews, but this soup was really delicious and deserves accolades! Made exactly as directed with the exception of adding 2 more cups of vegetable broth and adding more kale because I loved it so much (neither addition was necessary – I just wanted more of this delicious soup)

  9. I wanted a healthy, clean soup with lots of flavor and this one did it for me! It’s so yummy! I decided to make it without the lentil. Would recommend and make it again!

  10. I was worried that the kale would make this soup bitter, but I was wrong! This soup was delicious! I read the many additions people added to season the soup to their taste. I decided to try 1/2 tsp coriander and some black pepper. That’s all it needed. This is a keeper!

  11. My wife and I are big fans of Gina’s recipes. Couple of modifications: one tablespoon garam masala, one tablespoon tumeric, and one teaspoon of cumin seeds. The spices can only be added while sauteing the onions and leeks in oil, and it’s important not to let it stick. Keep extra oil on hand to add if needed. We are an Indian family, and this kind of spice mixture is called tadka. In the end, once the whole thing is cooked, we added one and a half tablespoons of worcestershire sauce as well The recipe does not include any spices, so these were crucial changes for us.

  12. Would red kale work for this soup

  13. Yummy! Such a healthy and satisfying soup.

  14. It was a cold snowy day & I wanted to make a nice pot of soup – this recipe was perfect! I had all the ingredients and it came together quickly. I prepared as instructed, but let the onions just start to get golden & some of the juices from the saute were starting to color the bottom of the pan. Added the tomato & stirred it to deglaze the bottom of the pan. It was absolutely delicious. When I reheated the leftovers I added a dash of Garam Masala and that was a nice too. Thanks so much – we will be having this often.

    • Thanks for the idea of using Garam Masala!  My husband loved the recipe as written but I wanted a bit more spice so I took your advice and added some Garam Masala to my own bowl.  It was delicious that way.

  15. looks delicious. But just give me the reasons for cooking different varieties of red, green or brown lentils.

  16. This was very tasty! I used cooking spinach instead of kale because that’s what I had. I didn’t add any salt. Thanks, Gina!

  17. The WW calculator says this is 4 green points.

  18. Mercy sakes alive! I made this recently, and it was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!! I used Chicken Broth instead of vegetable becasue i like the flavor and I am not vegan, but i’m sure its just as good with Vegetable. Absolutely outstanding!! and I added ZERO additional salt.

  19. Simple and hearty! Loved it. My 18-month-old loved it too!

  20. I so loved this!!!!! But, I think I portioned out my containers wrong. How much rice and how much chicken mixture?