This Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup is loaded with healthy veggies and blended until smooth and silky! It's big on flavor with fresh ginger, curry powder, coconut milk, and red lentils make it high in protein. Vibrant in color, with cozy warm spices for those cold winter days!
I love soups loaded with veggies, and that ginger-curry-coconut milk combination is so good! This butternut squash red pepper soup is a variation to my Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup that quickly became a favorite! Similar flavors, different veggies, nutritious and delicious! Extra soup freezes well to be enjoyed all winter!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butternut Squash - Hearty and healthy, butternut squash is a favorite garden vegetable that can be stored a long time, making it perfect for soup season! You could substitute other winter squash varieties for this recipe.
- Red Bell Pepper - Use 1 or 2 red bell peppers, or an orange or yellow pepper would also be fine. Cut the flesh off around the stem, leaving the seedy core intact in the middle. Make sure not to waste all the colorful pepper around the top by the stem!
- Kosher Salt - Always important in soups, salt is a flavor enhancer that brings out and brightens each ingredient.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic, it's the best!
- Ginger - That knobby ginger root has seriously amazing flavor! If you don't use ginger often, it's great! It's cheap, it keeps in the fridge quite a long time, and a little goes a long way! Use a vegetable peeler and then mince about an inch piece.
- Curry Powder - This warm cozy spice marries perfectly with the fresh ginger and sweet coconut milk.
- Red Lentils - A little protein makes all those veggies into a well rounded meal! If you don't use red lentils often, take a measuring cup to the store and just get 1 cup from the bulk bin!
- Orange Juice - Orange juice adds a little bright fresh flavor.
- Honey - A touch of honey compliments the natural sweetness in the butternut squash and coconut milk, and balances all the savory elements.
- Vegetable Stock - You could also use chicken stock if you aren't worried about making this soup vegetarian. You could even use water since this soup has plenty of flavor.
- Coconut Milk - An amazing ingredient! If you aren't used to cooking with coconut milk, it may look a little strange when you open the can. Kinda liquid, kinda solid, but don't worry, it blends right in! It adds the creaminess and a sweetness that pairs beautifully with the ginger. Use the full fat, not low fat coconut milk.
- Garnish with Goat Cheese and Chopped Parsley - This is optional, but a smooth blended soup needs some toppings! And don't forget the naan flatbread for dipping.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
This butternut squash orange and ginger soup is vegetarian, and almost vegan but sweetened with a tiny bit of honey. You could substitute sugar, maple syrup or leave it out. It is also gluten-free and dairy-free, aside from the cheese topping.
- Protein - The red lentils add protein to the soup, but you could also substitute any lentils or a can of chickpeas or white beans for a similar result.
- Toppings - I love the creamy goat cheese and parsley garnish, but you can top your soup in different ways! Try homemade croutons, toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, seedy crackers, pita chips, a dollop of plain yogurt, feta cheese or different fresh herbs. Chives, basil, cilantro, thyme or rosemary would all give you unique flavors.
- Vegetables - The vegetables in this soup could be varied to create a lot of different combinations with the curry-ginger-coconut flavor! Try this Carrot Ginger Soup, or try different veggie combinations like cauliflower, carrots, or sweet potatoes.
Step 1 - Prepare Your Ingredients - Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler and slice off each end. Use a scoop or a spoon to remove the seed cavity.
Cut the squash in half inch slices. Turn the slices on end to cut into strips, then cut into cubes. They don't need to be perfect, it will all get blended!
Cut the red flesh off the pepper around the seeds and stem, then chop. Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler. Mince the garlic and ginger.
Step 2 - Saute the Veggies - In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the oil and cook the squash and peppers until beginning to soften and caramelize. Season with salt.
Step 3 - Add the Garlic, Ginger and Curry Powder - Cook another minute until fragrant.
Step 4 - Simmer the Soup - Add the rinsed lentils, orange juice, honey and stock and simmer until the lentils are cooked through and the squash is softened.
Cover the pot and adjust the heat between medium and low so it is bubbling lightly, about 15 minutes.
Step 5 - Add the Coconut Milk - Taste a squash and a bite of lentils to make sure they are cooked through. Add the whole can of coconut milk.
Step 6 - Stir to Combine - Keep the soup over a low burner a few more minutes, then blend.
Step 7 - Blend the Soup - Use a high speed blender or hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup until very smooth. If using a blender, you will need to add the soup in 2 or more batches. Be patient and blend as long as it takes to get it super smooth!
Pour your blended batches into a bowl, and then pour it all back into the soup pot when you're done blending.
Step 8 - Garnish and Serve! - Keep your pot of soup on a low burner until ready to eat. Serve each bowl garnished with goat cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with warm naan or flatbread.
Storage & Make Ahead Instructions
Storage - Store extra soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. I love storing soup in glass jars for single serving containers that can be both microwaved and frozen!
Freezer - Butternut squash and red pepper soup can also be frozen for up to 4 months. If freezing in glass jars, be sure to only fill them ¾'s full to allow room for expansion, and cool them in the fridge first. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Never run a frozen jar under hot water to thaw it, it will crack!
Make Ahead - This soup can be made ahead and reheated over a low burner. Stir often and add a bit of water or stock if it is too thick.
What to Serve with this Soup
This soup is delicious served with warmed naan or flatbread for dipping. I love the creamy zing of flavor from the goat cheese, but you could also serve it with crumbled feta or without cheese. Make soup night it a bigger meal by adding:
- Keep Blending! You want this soup to be silky smooth! A high speed blender is best, but an immersion blender will work too, just be patient. You may need to blend it awhile to get it ultra smooth, give it a taste to check!
- If your soup is too thick after you blend it, just add a bit of water or stock to thin it out. The size of the butternut squash you use can vary the thickness of this soup, but it is easily adjusted.
- If your soup is too thin after blending, simply simmer it longer over a low burner. Keep stirring it, as the steam escapes, the soup will concentrate and become thicker.
- Butternut squash can be peeled and chopped and stored raw in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days if you want to get a head start when making your soup! It can also be frozen.
One is enough if that's what you have. Two will give you a lot of red pepper flavor, but one is certainly enough. You could even make the soup without it and have it just be butternut squash flavored. You could also use a couple roasted red peppers from a jar.
No. Lentils are quick cooking and will simmer right in the soup. Give them a good rinse in a strainer before using.
Yes! Just add all the ingredients to a crockpot except the coconut milk. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, adding the can of coconut milk in the final half hour. Just make sure the squash and lentils are soft before blending!
More Favorite Soup Recipes!
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Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup with Lentils and Coconut
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- 1 soup pot or Dutch oven
- 1 high speed blender or immersion blender
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 butternut squash (about 4 cups cubed)
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons ginger minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 15 oz can coconut milk
- Garnish with goat cheese and chopped parsley (optional)
- Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler. Slice off each end and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon or scoop to remove the seed cavity. Cut into ½ inch cubes. Cut the bell peppers off in sections around the stem and seeds, then chop. Peel and mince the ginger and garlic.
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and saute the butternut squash and red bell peppers. Season with salt and stir occasionally until they begin to caramelize, about 12 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, and cook another minute until fragrant.
- Rinse the red lentils in a strainer under running water. Add the lentils, orange juice, honey and stock. Cover and simmer over medium to medium low heat until the squash and lentils are softened. Give it an occasional stir, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and simmer another 5 minutes.
- Puree soup using a hand-held immersion blender OR transferring to a high speed blender. Taste and add another pinch of salt if needed.
- Return the soup to a low burner on the stove until ready to eat. Serve garnished with goat cheese crumbles and chopped fresh parsley with warm naan or flatbread for dipping.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the butternut squash and the ginger.
- This soup is blended so no need to chop your veggies perfectly!
- Blend until very smooth. Be careful when blending hot soup, hold a kitchen towel over the lid and let some steam escape through the hole in the top. Blend in batches.
- Thickness - If you soup is too thick while blending, add water or stock to thin. If it becomes too thin, simmer and stir, allowing the steam to escape will thicken and concentrate the soup.
- Toppings - If you aren't a fan of goat cheese, you can top this soup with crumbled feta, homemade croutons, toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, seedy crackers, pita chips, a dollop of plain yogurt, or different fresh herbs. Chives, basil, cilantro, thyme or rosemary would all give you unique flavors.