Butternut Kale Lentil Soup

This butternut kale lentil soup with herbs is so warming and nourishing! It’s a perfect vegan soup for fall and winter—or any time you’re craving something wholesome and grounding.

Two bowls of butternut kale lentil soup are laid on a white surface. A piece of toast rests nearby.

Tis the season for nourishing soups and stews! (Along with all of the sweet treats I’ve been making at home and eating by the tree.)

In the busy pre-holiday months, it’s so nice to have a meal option that comes together in a single pot and delivers on flavor and nutrition at the same time. That’s exactly what this butternut kale lentil soup does.

The soup is made with ingredients from iHerb. iHerb is an online storefront that carries over 30,000 natural products and ships to over 150 countries. It has a lot of my favorite pantry staples, baking ingredients, and snacks. It’s easy to order from iHerb, and the shipping is super fast!

Fittingly, the butternut kale lentil soup features plenty of dried herbs. I was happy to stock up on them with this latest iHerb haul.

Butternut kale lentil soup seasonings

In the butternut kale lentil soup, I used bay leaf and dried thyme from Simply Organic. I love this brand! The herbs and seasonings are always vibrant, and they’re organic as well.

Since I seem to be always running out of vegetable broth, I figured it was time to invest in a more sustainable version. Rapunzel Vegetable Broth is a dry version that dissolves in hot water whenever you need it, and there are 28 servings per container. A really great option for anyone who uses broth often for soups, risotto, or for sautéing veggies regularly. That’s definitely me!

On the topic of seasoning, I wanted to add some savoriness to the stew, and I turned to my go-to umami bomb of choice, nutritional yeast, for that. This is my first time trying Kal nutritional yeast, and I really like it. It’s just the right flavor, the container is easy to store alongside mason jars in my pantry, and it’s economical. 

Lentils for plant protein

Of course, another key component of the recipe (and its main protein source) was lentils. I love the heritage lentils from Bob’s Red Mill. They’re sort of a cross between regular brown lentils and smaller pardina lentils. They hold their texture perfectly in the soup without getting too mushy. 

A close up photograph of a hearty vegan legume and vegetable stew, with bread poking out of the round serving bowl.

Making butternut kale lentil soup

The recipe starts with sautéing onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil. and the olive oil. I chose for the recipe was from California Olive Ranch—it’s my go-to cooking oil at home!

After that, you’ll add garlic and onion, herbs, broth, and the remaining soup ingredients. This is very much a “dump-things-into-your-soup-pot” type of recipe, which is just the kind I like these days.

The soup needs about 30 minutes of simmering to cook the lentils. At that point, you’ll add the kale and give it another 10 minutes. Then you’re pretty much ready to eat!

Serving suggestions

I’m not fancy about serving my soup lately. A slice or two of (vegan) buttered toast is enough to keep me very, very happy.

Even so, there are other ways to go. You could serve the soup with a fresh green salad for some crunch and texture contrast. It’s nice with a grain pilaf. And it’s very lovely with a freshly made vegan dinner roll, if you have those lying around!

Storing butternut kale lentil soup

Soup leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days and can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

An angled photograph of two bowls of a vegan lentil, kale, and winter squash soup, which are served with toast points.

This soup is basically everything I love for autumn and winter, seasoned and cooked down to comforting perfection. The butternut squash adds subtle sweetness to the stew, but otherwise it’s rich in savory, earthy, hearty flavors. I love how prominent the herbs taste, and I love how hearty it is.

Two bowls of butternut kale lentil soup are laid on a white surface. A piece of toast rests nearby.
5 from 5 votes

Butternut Squash, Kale & Lentil Soup with Herbs

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1 lb of squash after preparation)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry lentils (brown, green, French, or pardina)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, washed, and chopped (about 1/2 lb after preparation)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.
  • Add the squash, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, lentils, and vegetable broth powder and water (or vegetable broth) to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the kale to the pot, re-cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast and season the soup to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to add a splash of water if the soup is thicker than you like. Enjoy.

Notes

In place of the olive oil, you can use 1/3 cup additional vegetable broth for sautéing.
Two slices of toast accompany round, white ceramic bowls of a hearty, plant-based winter stew. They rest on a bright, white surface.

Make the butternut kale lentil soup tonight, enjoy easy nourishment for almost a week. Wishing you lots of nourishment and enjoyment!

See you very soon, for weekend reading.

xo

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