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Healing Curry Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (with a slow cooker option!)

Healing curry butternut squash lentil soup that’s vegan, protein-packed, and incredibly nourishing. You’re going to love this creamy, flavorful soup that’s packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients! Make it on the stovetop or in your slow cooker for ease.

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

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When I first made this soup I basically happened upon it by mistake. I had tested it and shot it, but didn’t find the photos until I was scrolling through my old camera card months and months later. I remember thinking, “OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SOUP. IT MUST GO ON THE BLOG ASAP!”

So of course, I had to post this healing butternut squash lentil soup on the blog! I’ve since updated this recipe with some fresh photos, a brand new video, and more tips and tricks for making it extra delicious. This recipe is a creamy, nutritious, curry-flavored soup with butternut squash, lentils, turmeric, coconut milk, ginger and garlic. To give it an extra umami flavor, I added in peanut butter and stirred in spinach for a little nutritional boost (kale would also work well).

It’s addicting and I love crushing up crackers to absorb more of the creamy butternut broth. Also, who doesn’t love crackers in their soup?!

This soup is SUPER easy to make and I even have a slow cooker option for you available in the note section. It’s great if you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet too. Best of all, this soup is lovely for helping you heal after you’ve been sick — you’ll find plenty of superfoods, anti-inflammatory ingredients and herbs in this recipe. Time to make it ASAP!

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butternut squash lentil soup in a bowl topped with cilantro

Everything you’ll need to make this curry butternut squash lentil soup

Get ready to fall in love with the amazing flavors and textures in this butternut squash lentil soup. It’s filled with plenty of veggies and good-for-you, healing ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Coconut oil: you’ll be cooking down your veggies to start in a little coconut oil.
  • Produce: this nourishing soup is filled with carrots, butternut squash, onion and 3 whole cups of spinach for a boost of nutrients. Don’t forget the garlic and freshly grated ginger, too! Be sure to check out our best tips & tricks for cubing a butternut squash here, too.
  • Spices: you’ll be mixing in yellow curry powder, turmeric, and plenty of salt and pepper.
  • Lentils: I love using lentils in this soup because they make it thick and creamy while also providing plenty of plant based protein and fiber. Feel free to use green or brown lentils.
  • For the broth: the creamy broth is made with light coconut milk and low sodium vegetarian broth.
  • Secret ingredient: for extra richness and delicious umami flavor I like to add natural, creamy peanut butter. It’s the BEST. Use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off my favorite brand, Wild Friends.
  • Optional: I also love topping my bowl with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts and a dash of hot sauce!

curry butternut squash lentil soup in a pot

Simple ingredient swaps

The ingredients in this soup are relatively easy to customize with what you have on hand. Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Swap the butternut squash. Cubed sweet potato or even pumpkin would be perfect in this soup.
  • Choose your veggies. I love mixing in fresh spinach, but kale would be another perfect green to add!
  • Add some spice. Looking for a kick of heat? Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne pepper when you add the spices. As I mentioned above, you can also top your bowl with some hot sauce!
  • Boost the protein. Lentils give this soup a good amount of protein, but you could also add ground chicken or turkey (if you’re not vegan).

vegan butternut squash lentil soup in a pot with spinach

How to make this butternut squash lentil soup

This soup couldn’t be easier to make! Here’s how to make it on the stovetop:

  1. Cook your veggies. Start by cooking down the onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil for a few minutes until the onion softens. Then add in the cubed butternut squash and carrots to cook for a few minutes more.
  2. Add the spices & broth. Next, stir in the curry powder and turmeric, let them coat the veggies a bit and then add in the coconut milk, broth, lentils and peanut butter. Season it all with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer it up. You’ll then want to bring everything to a boil, then reduce it to low heat to let the soup simmer until the lentils are soft.
  4. Time to blend. To make the soup thick and creamy you’re then going to transfer half of it to a blender and puree it until it’s nice and smooth. Pour it back into the rest of the soup.
  5. Add the greens & serve. Finally, stir in the fresh spinach until it’s just wilted, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Feel free to add more peanut butter or even a squeeze of lime juice for freshness. Add toppings and serve!

bowls of healthy butternut squash lentil soup

Make it in your slow cooker

Yes, you can make this butternut squash lentil soup right in your slow cooker for an easy, hands-off option!

  1. Add everything together. Seriously, just add all of the soup ingredients (except the spinach) right to your slow cooker. I recommend reducing the broth to 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Slow cook it! You can cook the soup on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Blend it. Once the soup is cooked and the squash is tender, blend half of it and add it back to the slow cooker.
  4. Add spinach & serve. Stir in the spinach at the ends, taste & adjust seasonings if you’d like, and then serve!

blended butternut squash lentil soup in a bowl topped with cilantro

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: store this curry butternut squash lentil soup recipe in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Feel free to reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop!
  • To freeze: let the soup completely cool and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or multiple containers for meal prep purposes). Freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, first let the soup thaw in the refrigerator, then heat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop.

bowl of vegan curry butternut squash lentil soup

More healthy soup recipes you’ll love

Get all of our amazing soup recipes here!

I hope you love this healing curry butternut squash lentil soup! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Healing Curry Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

4.95 from 54 votes
vegan butternut squash lentil soup in a bowl
Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword butternut squash lentil soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serves 4

Healing curry butternut squash lentil soup that's vegan, protein-packed, and incredibly nourishing. You're going to love this creamy, flavorful soup that's packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients! Make it on the stovetop or in your slow cooker for ease.

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 medium (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5-6 cups diced)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetarian broth
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 tablespoons all natural creamy peanut butter or cashew butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups organic spinach

Instructions

  1. Add coconut oil oil to a large pot or dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Next add in garlic, ginger and onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until onion begin to soften. 
  2. Add in carrot and butternut squash cubes; saute for a few more minutes then add in the yellow curry powder and turmeric. Allow spices to cook together for 30 seconds then immediately stir in coconut milk, vegetarian broth, lentils and peanut butter. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 20 minutes until lentils soften.
  4. After 20 minutes, transfer approximately half of the soup (about 3 cups) to a blender. It’s very important to protect your hands from steam and a potential heat explosion, so please place a clean dish towel over the lid and puree the soup until smooth. I like to start slow, then gradually increase the speed of the blender. 
  5. Pour the puree back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir to combine. Finally stir the fresh spinach until just wilted.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the soup as necessary. If you like more of a umami flavor try adding another tablespoon of peanut butter, or even a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This is a soup that can do no wrong! I like to serve mine with cilantro and a handful of peanuts -- it’s also great with a little hot sauce if you prefer a little spice!

Recipe Notes

To make yours in the slow cooker: add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker, except I recommend reducing the broth to 2 ½ cups. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Continue with blending part of the soup after it is cooked.

Feel free to use cubed sweet potato or pumpkin if that's what you have on hand.

Nutrition
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 377kcal
Fat: 14.2g
Carbohydrates: 55.4g
Fiber: 15.7g
Sugar: 12.8g
Protein: 10.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on March 15, 2018, and republished on October 11, 2021.

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