Spiced Butternut Squash Lentil Soup is a soothing, nourishing, vegan soup, made especially warming with turmeric, curry, and ginger.
My nose is raw and I’m weak from coughing. But I’m on the mend. After a busy week where I was thankfully well enough to appear on camera for a client project, I came home, and my body, most likely sensing that it was allowed to get sick, basically shut down and I found myself in bed all weekend. All I wanted was hot ginger tea and soup.
Normally, my go-to soup is arroz caldo, which I especially love because of the ginger and garlic that soothes. But I wanted something a little more hearty, where I could sneak in as many veggies and nutrients as possible. So I started chopping my Filipino version of the Trinity (garlic, onions, and ginger) and searching the fridge and pantry to see what I could do to make this the most wholesome, nourishing soup ever.
Out came some butternut squash and lentils. And from the spice cabinet, more ginger, turmeric, and curry. I wanted this soup to warm from within, to help me detox and regain my strength.
As I stirred the soup on the stove, I realized that this soup would have been a perfect candidate for the pressure cooker, and I could have saved some time. But when you’ve been in bed for 48 hours, it feels good to stand and tend a pot of soup, you know?
To give it a little extra flavor, a splash of balsamic vinegar and hot chili oil was all I needed. My husband opted for some chopped pickled jalapenos. The kids went for the naan, dipping into it like a creamy dal. It was just what we all needed this perpetually cold and wet week, and I like to think it helped me recover faster, too.
Looking for more soothing soups? Try these recipes to warm you up:
Spiced Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (Vegan)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup lentils
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups mixed greens spinach, baby kale and chard work well)
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- hot chili oil for garnish, optional
- pickled jalapenos for garnish, optional
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté onions, garlic and ginger until transparent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, ground coriander, and ground ginger, and cook for another minute to let the spices toast.
- Add the butternut squash, salt, lentils, and vegetable stock, and bring to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, then cover the pot, and allow to cook, stirring periodically, for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and tender.
- Remove the ginger and discard.
- Using an emersion blender, blend the soup until the squash is fully mashed and the soup is your desired consistency — I like to keep mine a little chunky. This can also be done by blending a portion of the soup in a blender and returning it to the soup.
- Stir in the almond milk and balsamic vinegar, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the mixed greens and give it a minute to wilt.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, a drizzle of chili oil or as my husband like it, with pickled jalapeno. Serve hot with bread - toasty naan is delicious with it.