This delicious vegan butternut squash lentil soup is easy to make in 40 minutes with just a few simple ingredients.

Bowl of butternut squash red lentil soup with a spoon.

About the Recipe

This butternut squash and red lentil soup is sure to be your new favourite healthy recipe during the colder months.

Though preparing the butternut squash takes a few minutes, the rest of the recipe is very quick and easy to make.

The warm spices are delicious paired with the sweetness of the butternut squash and it’s a great way to get more veggies into your diet. You’ll love this easy recipe for a quick meal on a cold night.

This is a vegan soup, a good source of plant-based protein and is oil-free and gluten-free, so suitable for a variety of dietary needs.

For more recipes like this, this Butternut Squash Lentil Stew and Hearty Lentil Stew with Potatoes are both delicious.

If you have extra butternut squash, this Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili with Black Beans and Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach are both wonderful too.


Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy and delicious soup:

  • Butternut squash. You’ll need 3 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash.You can substitute sweet potato or do half and half for a variation. You could also try other winter squashes like acorn squash or kabocha squash (or try this Creamy Coconut Kabocha Squash Soup, yum!).
  • Red lentils. You’ll need 1 cup of dry, uncooked red lentils. You can use green lentils but the soup will have a different color, texture (green lentils have a firm texture) and take longer to cook.
  • Canned, diced tomatoes. You’ll need 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes. I’d recommend using fire roasted diced tomatoes if possible.
  • Vegetable broth. Any kind of vegetable broth works. I use bouillon cubes just because they’re so convenient. I like GoBio or HarvestSun organic bouillon cubes. I like using bouillon cubes over carton broth just because it’s so easy to stock in your pantry without it going bad. That being said, any carton, fresh or homemade stock is wonderful too.
  • Coconut milk. You’ll need 1 cup of coconut milk. I used light coconut but full-fat works too.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

Variations and Additions

  • A touch of cinnamon works well with the other spices. Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon with the other spices.
  • For additional veggies, you can add up to 2 cups mixed from bell pepper, cauliflower or carrots.
  • For some spice, add up to 1 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • To add greens, add up to 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale or baby spinach at the end and stir to mix.
  • Use sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash for a variation, or try this Sweet Potato Lentil Soup.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1. Prepare the Squash and Veggies

Peeled butternut squash cut into cubes on a cutting board with a knife.

To prepare the squash, cut the top and bottom off, remove the peel using a vegetable peeler, then cut in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds then cut into cubes.

You’ll need 3 cups of cubed and peeled squash, which is roughly one small squash or 1/2 a larger one, though there’s no need to be exact.

Step 2. Sauté the Veggies.

Onion, garlic and celery in a large soup pot with a wooden spoon.

Once everything is chopped and ready to go, add the celery, onion and garlic to a large soup pot and sauté over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes.

You can cook the vegetables in 1 tbsp of olive oil or use ab bit of water or broth to make the recipe oil-free.

Cumin and curry powder being stirred into celery, onion and garlic in a soup pot.

Once they’re softened and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes, stir in the curry powder and cumin and cook for a few more minutes.

Step 3. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Uncooked butternut squash red lentil soup in a large soup pot.

Next, add the rest of the ingredients, bring it all to a light simmer then simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the squash and lentils are tender.

Step 4. Blend some of the soup.

Blended butternut squash lentil soup in a Vitamix container.

Finally, for a thick and creamy soup, scoop about 2 cups of the soup out and into a bender.

Carefully puree until smooth then pour back into the pot with the unblended portion of the soup. Alternatively, you can pulse an immersion blender in the pot a few times.

Healthy Vegan Butternut Squash Lentil Soup Recipe

Recipe FAQs

Should I use light or full-fat coconut milk?

Both work well. Use full-fat coconut milk for a rich and creamy soup or light coconut milk to reduce the fat and calories in the soup.

Do I have to blend the soup?

Nope. That’s up to you. I like to blend some of it for a creamier, thicker soup. You can blend it in a blender or use an immersion blender in the pot.

Can I use green or brown lentils?

Yes, though the soup will have a different texture as green and brown lentils are firmer when cooked, and of course, the soup will be darker in colour. You’ll need a slightly longer cooking time as well.

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

Yes. To make this recipe in a pressure cooker, add the onion, garlic and celery and use the Saute function to cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, seal the Instant Pot and cook on High Pressure for 7 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure, carefully open and enjoy.

How long does butternut squash lentil soup keep?

You can store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop or in individual portions in the microwave.

Can I freeze butternut squash lentil soup?

Yes. To freeze, let cool then transfer to an airtight container or heavy duty freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.

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Healthy Vegan Butternut Squash Lentil Soup Recipe

Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 33 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop, Blender
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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This hearty red lentil butternut squash soup is nutritious, flavorful, easy to make and packed with veggies. 


  • 1 medium white onion, about 2 cups diced (300 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped, about 1/2 cup (85 g)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash (350 g)
  • 1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth


  1. Add the onion, garlic and celery to a large pot or dutch oven with 2-3 tbsp vegetable broth or 1 tbsp olive oil.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes until softened and fragrant. If the pot dries out, add a few more splashes of broth.
  3. Add the curry powder and cumin, stir and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a light simmer over medium heat.
  5. Lightly simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the butternut squash and lentils are tender.
  6. Carefully scoop out 2 cups of the soup and add to a blender. Puree until smooth the pour back into the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if needed. To brighten the flavour, you can squeeze in a bit of lemon juice or lime juice.
  7. Enjoy right away or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to months.


  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 214
  • Sugar: 5.4 g
  • Sodium: 482 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 10 g