Creamy Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Red Lentils and Coconut Yogurt Swirl
Butternut squash soup is without a doubt one of my top 10 comfort foods. I’ll gladly eat it year-round. But I’ll be honest with you, I’ve rarely had a good butternut soup outside of my own kitchen. Maybe that’s because I can only find dairy-free butternut squash soup on rare occasions, and usually from well-meaning hippie restaurants that chronically under-spice. But even on the rare occasions I’ve had cream-based butternut soup at fancy restaurants, most places under-salt or miss the acid component entirely. And yeah, it’s tough to turn that big hunk of winter squash into something creamy and delightful. But not that tough.
Is it any wonder I have soup trust issues?
So here’s my take on it: butternut squash soup should be simple but never plain. Mildly sweet, but with plenty of tanginess. Creamy and cozy but also bright and spicy. And always topped with a swirl of coconut cream or a dollop of coconut yogurt, just to take it over the top.
This curry butternut squash soup recipe has a North Indian yellow curry vibe, with red lentils, ginger, garlic, lots of lemon, cumin and black pepper. The secret is adding whole chopped lemon to the broth as it cooks, which imparts a citrusy aroma and crisp acidity. Lemon balances out the richness of the blended soup for a positively magical final dish. Yogurt gives it an extra edge of rich creamy tang. You definitely don’t want to miss out on that!
This has to be my favorite butternut squash soup recipe that I’ve ever come up with. It’s easily going on weekly rotation (possibly for the rest of my life).
And shout-out to Logan — butternut squash soup was the first meal we ever made together when we started dating back in 2010! I had just turned 21 and I was super confident in my soup skills y’all. We made a vegan version with apples and coriander. I definitely topped it with little coconut cream swirled hearts (just trying to be impressive nbd). We still talk about that date every time we have just about any version of butternut soup.
Anyhoo, hope you all enjoy this delightfully cozy dish and have a glorious November! Tag me on instagram @willfrolicforfood if you make it so I can see! xoxo — Renee
Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt Swirl (Vegan)
Active prep time: 10 mins - Inactive prep time: 20 mins - Total cook time: 30 mins - Makes: ~4 servings as a main dish - PRINT THIS RECIPE - Tips: The secret ingredient in this soup is using whole lemon as your tangy acid component, which gives this soup a fresh quality while still being warm and cozy. Make sure to use Organic lemon.
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
1 inch knob ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 4 ½ cups)
1/2 whole lemon, chopped (including peel)
1 can full fat coconut milk (about 2 cups)
3 cups water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
To a large soup pot set on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and diced onion and sauté until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in minced garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add diced butternut squash, chopped lemon, coconut milk, water, lentils, curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes until the squash is tender (you can check by pressing a cube against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon).
Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until totally smooth. (Alternatively you can blend in batches in an upright blender). Taste and adjust salt / pepper / spices according to your liking.
Serve the soup with a dollop of coconut yogurt swirled on top of each bowl. Enjoy!