Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon


This quick squash soup recipe makes for a comforting, warm weeknight dinner. Enjoy the various flavors in just one bowl.

Overhead View of Red Lentil Squash Soup Served in White Bowl
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
6 serves

This silky red lentil soup soothes and satisfies with generous amounts of vegetables and a touch of heat. The recipe combines carrots, butternut squash, a cornucopia of spices, and harissa paste for layered flavor; fresh ginger adds a surprising amount of warmth, too. A bowl of this easy soup will warm you up in more ways than one. It’s worth the extra step of transferring the soup to the blender to get a velvety smooth texture. P.S. This recipe freezes well, so double the batch to have delicious dinners on hand anytime.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger (from a 1-in. piece)

  • 2 teaspoons harissa

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash

  • 1 ½ cups dried red lentils

  • 3 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • Chopped roasted almonds and chopped parsley, for serving

  • Toasted pita and plain yogurt, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger, harissa, spices, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add broth, squash, lentils, and carrots; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Working in 2 batches, transfer mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape. Secure lid on blender and place a clean towel over lid. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. (You can also use an immersion blender.) Return soup to pot and stir in lemon juice.

  3. Drizzle each serving with oil and top with almonds and parsley. Serve with toasted pita and yogurt for dipping.

Chef's Notes

A drizzle or olive oil and a dash of pepper turn yogurt into a luscious dip that goes perfectly with crispy pita and creamy soup.

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