Curried Butternut Lentil Apple Soup

This curried butternut lentil apple soup is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Hearty, healthy, and easy to make!

A small bowl of golden curried butternut squash and lentil soup is topped with a swirl of olive oil and accompanied by fresh bread.

Curried butternut lentil and apple soup is a happy union of lots of my favorite autumn ingredients. In spite of the fact that it only features a few main ingredients, it packs a lot of flavor and complexity.

I usually greet the change of seasons with excitement, especially the transition from summer to fall. This year, though, I feel a little unmoored.

This cozy, comforting, simple soup is just what the doctor ordered. It’s both grounding and uplifting. And it makes considerable leftovers, which means that I can enjoy it all week!

Butternut lentil apple soup ingredients

This soup has a wonderfully spare ingredient list. Here’s most of what you’ll need.

Curry powder

I tend to prefer a sweet or mild curry to a curry with more heat. For this recipe in particular, a sweet curry powder is nice. My current favorite is Penzey’s.

Apple

While any type of apple will work in the recipe, I’d suggest a variety that’s neither super tart (like Granny Smith) or super sweet (like Fuji). I really like using Jonagolds and Braeburns in the butternut lentil apple soup.

If you’re a little overwhelmed by apple varieties and their cooking uses, this is a handy guide.

Red lentils

Red lentils give this soup plant protein and fiber. Additionally, they cook in no time, which means that the soup comes together without too much simmering.

I use red lentils in a ton of my recipes, so I tend to order them in bulk. If you don’t have red lentils at home, you can use either brown or green lentils and give the soup an extra fifteen minutes of cook time.

Yellow lentils are harder to find than red, but I really like them, and they also work well in the soup.

If you do happen to grab a bag of red lentils for the butternut lentil apple soup, and you’re not sure what to do with the rest of them, some ideas:

Butternut squash

You’ll need about a pound of peeled, seeded, and cubed squash for the soup. In my experience, this is about one small squash.

Lately, I tend to buy pre-cut squash if I see it at the grocery store. It’s a little lazy, and it can cost more, but it’s a big time/energy saver. If you are ready and willing to break down the squash yourself, this is a good tutorial.

In place of butternut, you could use peeled acorn, kabocha, honeycut, or kuri squash.

Pick your texture

This is one of those soups that can be either pureed into a bisque or left chunky and stew-like. Once it’s done cooking, you can choose whether to blend it up completely or partially.

I use an immersion blender in situations like this—it saves me the time of washing a dirty blender! But you can also transfer all or some of the soup to a standing blender and puree it that way.

Storing and freezing butternut lentil apple soup

The butternut lentil apple soup is perfect for batch cooking and freezing. It tastes better, I think, after a few days in the fridge. And the leftovers can be frozen for up to six weeks.

A plant based bowl of creamy, golden colored soup, with a small slice of bread dipped in for serving.

More hearty fall soups & stews

I look forward to soup, stew, and brown food season all year long. If you like this butternut lentil apple soup, here are a few other autumn meals that you might enjoy, too.

A bowl of vegan butternut lentil apple soup, garnished with a swirl of oil, freshly ground pepper, and a side of fresh bread.
A small bowl of golden curried butternut squash and lentil soup is topped with a swirl of olive oil and accompanied by fresh bread.
5 from 2 votes

Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 pound peeled and cubed butternut squash about 1 small squash
  • 1 1/4 pounds peeled and chopped apples about 2 large or 3 small apples

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear.
  • Add the broth, curry, salt, pepper, red lentils, squash, and apples to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils have melted into the soup and the squash and apples are very tender. Stir once or twice during cooking. When the soup is ready, you can puree it partially or completely with an immersion blender (or not).
  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if desired. If you’d like to enhance the soup’s sweet notes from the apple, stir in 2-3 teaspoons maple syrup. Serve.

Notes

Leftover soup will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.
A slice of whole grain bread is dunked into a bowl of creamy, orange colored vegan soup.

Final note about the soup: it’s really easy to wilt some greens in here for extra calcium and nutritional density. I’ve tried adding kale, spinach, and collards. They all work really nicely.

I hope this soup will provide comfort and simplicity as we weather change and move into the holiday season!

Till soon,

xo

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    23 Comments
  1. We received some boxed butternut squash soup from family members and it’s good to have this recipe now that we’ve finished eating them! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe! I often find veggie soups not filling enough on their own, but this one does the trick, thanks to the lentils I’m guessing! The flavour is complex enough that a friend who doesn’t like squash likes this soup, and another who doesn’t like spicy curry also likes it! It’s satisfying for vegans and carnivores alike and very easy to make.

    I like a smooth soup, so I always puree with a hand blender. It freezes well – I freeze serving-sized portions so I have one ready for lunchtime. And sometimes I stir in a handful of baby spinach into my bowl. Thank you for this healthy, delicious soup!

  3. Oh I have to try this. I love butternut squash and with lentils and apples, what a lovely mix. And curried too 🙂 I love making homemade soups, winter and summer. Can’t wait to buy the ingredients to try this. Will be lovely with this wholewheat bread topped with seeds that my local bakery here in Vienna makes. Thanks!

  4. I love to try this out. Looks so comforting and delicious. I think this is perfect for a stressed and a long day. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. Not only delicious but superb colorful also this red lentils and apple soup! I am impressed about this soup & I`d like to try it soon, sounds so good.

  6. This soup makes me feel better just looking at it, Gena. Thank you for your words of comfort. “I’m no more sure of how to contextualize bewilderment or unrest than anyone else”. I appreciate that simply because as perplexed as I am, I wonder sometimes if I’m crazy. Realizing it’s okay to be confused… not able to make sense of events and then the ability to let it go. Accept what is and work towards meaningful change. I’m trying to accept what is. Thank you for sharing this comforting soup. I needed it. xo

  7. I will definitely try it – always looking for new recipes involving lentils and butternut, as they are my favourite products 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  8. I love all your postings/recipes… but this well-timed, comforting entry was just what my soul and tummy needed. Thank you.

  9. Dear Gena, thank you for showing – yet again – that you are not “just” a food blogger but also feed the minds and souls of those reading with your calm and comforting words . To me, those things matter and I’m sure to others as well.
    Also, I’m certain I will try this soup next week 😉

  10. You have a knack for seeing what I’ve just bought and putting it all together in a way I would not have considered! This looks perfect. And I’m all excited about baking whole grain bread these days. Thank you Gena.

    • Hi Julia,

      So happy you like the soup. I’m really keen on dipping my toes into the world of homemade bread, so if you have an easy recipe — something that won’t deter a novice — I’d love to hear about it!

      G