This Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Turmeric is the perfect healthy recipe you need in these last few weeks of cold weather. It’s packed with vitamins, fiber, protein, and immune-boosting properties. It’s delicious- slightly sweet from the squash, with a warm, peppery taste from the turmeric. And it’s so easy to make!
At the risk of jinxing myself, my family and I have managed to avoid getting sick this winter. I’ve been a tightly wound ball of paranoia regarding the flu. With a 14-month-old daughter, and me being almost 8 months pregnant… ugh, I don’t even want to think about it!
We’ve come this far into the flu season, and I’ll be damned if we go down without a fight. Which is why I created this soup. It has a big dose of orange vegetables (high in vitamin C), as well as turmeric (which has many immune-boosting qualities), and it’s hearty enough for a whole meal with the added protein from the red lentils.
This recipe could not be easier to throw together. I garnished the soup with some pine nuts for added texture, as well as a drizzle of plain yogurt and garnish of fresh cilantro for a tangy, bright added flavor. My daughter gobbled it right up!
I pureed the soup with an immersion blender for a velvety smooth texture, but you can use a standing blender if you don’t have one, or even a potato masher if you want more texture. I used homemade chicken stock, as I always have some on hand in my freezer, but you can use vegetable stock for a vegan/vegetarian version.
This recipe is already super inexpensive to make, but for an even more budget-friendly recipe, use water- just add a bit more of the seasoning to make a richer taste.
Here’s the printable recipe for Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Turmeric!
Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Turmeric
- 2 tablespoons butter divided (or olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 6 cups chicken stock/broth vegetable broth, or water (or a mixture of these)
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 5 cups)
- 1 cup red lentils
- yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium high heat until softened and starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
- Add the cumin (1 teaspoon), turmeric (1 teaspoon), and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, coating the onions in the spice mixture, until it becomes fragrant (about 1 minute). This will help the spices toast and become more flavorful.
- Add the broth and/or water (6 cups), cubed butternut squash (about 5 cups), and dry red lentils (1 cup). Stir, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until squash is tender and lentils are fully cooked (15-20 minutes).
- Stir remaining 1 tablespoon butter into soup until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve garnished with plain yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or toasted pine nuts, if desired.
- Make it vegan: be sure to use vegetable stock and/or water, as well as olive oil instead of butter.
- Storing leftovers: This soup reheats and freezes well- make ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 6 months.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.