Healing Butternut Squash Soup

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: March 21, 2024

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Closeup of a healing bowl of smooth butternut squash and red lentil soup garnished with seeds and red sauce, accompanied by slices of bread and a gold spoon on a rustic board.

I call this my “Healing Soup,” and it never fails to make me feel better, with each bowl bringing a warm, soothing feeling. I’ve been regularly making a version of this for the last three years since receiving my endometriosis diagnosis. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients, chosen to help me feel better when I need an extra boost. There is nothing fancy here; I just add all the ingredients into one pot at the same time because sometimes we need very minimal steps to conserve our energy as much as possible, but it turns out incredibly creamy and flavourful, exactly what I need!
And it’s not reserved for my endo friends out there because it’s absolutely delicious, and its ingredients are perfect for any time we’re feeling a bit under the weather.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple to make: Everything goes into one pot, saving energy and time.
  • Nutrient-rich: Loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber while being easy to digest.
  • Digestive aid: Ingredients like ginger and turmeric help with digestion and inflammation.
  • Freezable: Perfect for preparing ahead and storing for later. Your future self will thank you!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for nutritious butternut squash and red lentil soup displayed on a white surface.
  • Ginger: Ginger has antioxidant properties, aids digestion, and is especially helpful for nausea and bloating. Plus, it tastes absolutely delicious!
  • Turmeric: A well-known spice for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is excellent to consume on a regular basis. Its active compound, curcumin, is not well absorbed on its own, and it needs to be paired with piperine from black pepper, so make sure you don’t skip the black pepper at the end of the soup!
  • Carrots: Delicious and budget-friendly, carrots provide vitamins A and C to support the immune system.
  • Butternut Squash: Packed with fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants like carotenoids. It’s easy to digest and brings a delicious sweetness to the soup.
  • Red Lentils: Red Lentils are the soup’s main source of protein. They are also rich in fiber and are favored as the quickest legume to cook and the easiest to digest. Lentils are also a good source of magnesium, zinc, and iron.
  • Cashews: Rich in magnesium and tryptophans, which can help with sleep. Not only do they give the soup its luscious creaminess, but the healthy fats help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are crucial to making the most of the nutrients in this soup. If you wish to sub or skip the cashews, make sure to use alternative nuts or seeds or drizzle a dash of olive oil to help with vitamin absorption.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Rinse the red lentils under cold water and soak overnight with the cashews if desired. Add all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a soft boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Blend the soup until smooth, then stir in lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Enjoy with your favorite toppings for added texture and flavor.

Variations and Tips

  • Rough Chopping: As we are blending everything, I just roughly chop all ingredients and don’t bother mincing the garlic and ginger.
  • Meal Pairing: Although loaded with nutrients, his soup is too low in calories and protein to be a satisfying meal on its own. I recommend pairing it with a couple of slices of our gluten-free buckwheat bread topped with avocado or adding some tofu croutons and greens on the side.
  • Storing Leftovers: Leftovers last five days in the fridge and two months in the freezer. It’s great to freeze a couple of individual portions for those days you just don’t feel like cooking.
  • Nut-Free Options: Use sunflower seeds instead of cashews.
  • Naturally Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
  • For Digestion and Nausea: If you need an extra boost to help with digestion and nausea, I highly recommend making ginger and fennel tea. Just chop some ginger root and brew it along with some fennel seeds; it always helps me feel better straight away!
  • Removing Turmeric Stains from The Blender: If your blender is stained with turmeric, place it outside in the sun for a couple of hours; the stain will magically disappear!

Why You’ll Love This Healing Butternut Squash Soup

  • Comforting
  • Nourishing
  • Easy
  • Delicious
  • Healing
Creamy butternut squash and red lentil soup in a bowl on a wooden board with golden spoon. Topped with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of red sauce, ready to be enjoyed.
Closeup of a healing bowl of smooth butternut squash and red lentil soup garnished with seeds and red sauce, accompanied by slices of bread and a gold spoon on a rustic board.

Healing Butternut Squash Soup

5 from 4 votes
A soothing and nourishing soup packed with antioxidants, fiber, and protein, ideal for when you need a comforting yet healthy boost.
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • cup raw cashews
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only, chopped and washed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chili, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 450 g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 650 g butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable stock, low sodium preferred
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt flakes to taste (see notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Topping Ideas

  • fresh herbs (such as cilantro or parsley)
  • dairy-free yogurt
  • toasted nuts and seeds
  • broccoli sprouts
  • chili oil

Instructions

  • Rinse the red lentils thoroughly under cold water. Optionally, soak the lentils and cashews in cold water overnight. Once soaked, drain the water and rinse again. Although not necessary, this step will make some nutrients more bioavailable.
  • In a large pot, add the lentils, cashews, garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric, cumin, maple syrup, carrots, butternut squash, and vegetable stock. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce the heat, cover partially, and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Turn off the heat.
  • Blend the soup until perfectly smooth. If using a stand blender, it’s recommended to allow it to cool down before blending.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Notes

Salt: the amount of salt will depend on the stock you’re using. Remember you can always add more, but not take it away, so I recommend to wait until the end, to taste and adjust to your liking. 

Per Serving

Calories 260kcalCarbohydrates 48gProtein 11gFat 4gSodium 195mgFiber 9gVitamin A 1213IUVitamin C 30mgCalcium 115mgIron 5mg
COURSE Soup
CUISINE Plant-Based
KEYWORDS anti-inflammatory, digestive-aid, Easy, Nutritious
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FAQ

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, it freezes well for up to 2 months.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free.

Can I make it without nuts?

Absolutely, sunflower seeds are a great nut-free alternative.

How can I increase the protein content?

Consider adding tofu croutons or serving with protein-rich bread.

Is it suitable for meal prep?

Yes, it’s perfect for meal prep and stores well in the fridge or freezer.

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2 Comments

  1. Greetings from the Pacific Northwest (Bainbridge Island). We made your soup tonight and it was delicious. We followed the recipe exactly, tasted the soup and concluded that it was very good but missing something. I peeled and cored an apple, diced it up and sautéed it to caramelize it a bit then blended it into the soup.. Just what it needed, just a little more sweetness. Wonderful and very satisfying on a cool, rainy spring evening.5 stars

    1. Hey Christopher, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the soup, and found a way to adjust it to your preferences. The caramelized apple is a very clever way to add sweetness to a dish, and I’ll be sure to give it a go myself 🙂

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