Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon

4.46 from 11 votes
1 hour 15 minutes
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Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon hits all the flavor notes for a tasty and healthful fall dinner!  Perfect for when you need some soup goodness!

Photo of Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon in white Dutch oven.

Spicy Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon hits all the notes for a healthful and flavorful meal that’s perfect for an early fall dinner or for when you just need some soup goodness!  We have an abundance of butternut squash from our garden, so stay tuned for more butternut squash recipes.

Photo of a serving of Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon in white bowl.

How to inspect lentils for debris:

One thing you always want to do when working with lentils is to look them over well for stones, twigs and odd-looking shriveled ones because those can be stone-like.

What I do is:

  • Place a small amount–about ¼ cup–on a plain white paper plate.  A white surface makes debris easier to find.
  • Look them over for any odd things and discard.
  • Then, gently fold the plate to guide them into your pot or into a bowl.
  • Repeat with the remaining lentils.

How to make Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon:

It’s super simple!

  • Start with some diced bacon.  Cook it until it’s crisp and the fat is rendered.
  • Then add veggies, veggies and more veggies!  Start with onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  Oh my!  Add broth, the lentils, canned tomatoes, butternut squash, kale, herbs and let it all just simmer!

Photo of Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon in white enameled Dutch oven with whole grain bread on gray napkin.

  • Finish the Spicy Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon with a splash of red wine vinegar and fresh chopped parsley.
  • Serve with some amazing whole grain bread and this soup is good for whatever ails ya!

Photo of Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon with soup served in two white soup bowls.

Want more great, hearty soup goodness?  Be sure to try:

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Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon - Overhead closeup shot of soup in white Dutch oven

Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon

4.46 from 11 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon hits all the flavor notes for a tasty and healthful fall dinner! Perfect for when you need some soup goodness!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 376 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices bacon - diced
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 2 medium carrots - chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth - or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - or more if you like it really spicy
  • 1 small butternut squash - peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes (2-3 cups)
  • 1 bunch kale - stems removed, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place bacon in a Dutch oven. Heat to medium-high and cook, 6-7 minutes or until bacon is crisp and fat is rendered. Transfer back to paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  • Add onion to the bacon fat. Cook the onion over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the celery and carrots. Cook 8-10 minutes or until very soft, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the bacon back in, the lentils, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Bring back to a boil.
  • Add butternut squash. Reduce heat to medium and cook 15-20 minutes.
  • Add kale. Continue cooking another 5-10 minutes or until kale is wilted and lentils and squash are tender.
  • Add red wine vinegar, parsley and salt and black pepper to taste.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Cool completely then refrigerate.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Place in airtight containers in amounts desired.  Freeze 2-3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 902mg | Potassium: 975mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 14463IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.46 from 11 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe. It was the perfect level of spice for me. The butternut squash got pretty soft and made the broth very creamy and delicious. I didn’t have enough sausage in the freezer, so I added half ground turkey. It was still very good.

    I also used a blender to blend some of the lentils to make the broth thicker bc my partner likes thicker soup.

  2. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I made this soup and it is delicious!! I brought it in to share with my coworkers and got rave reviews and was asked to put it in the soup rotation for lunch. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hi, Renee, Thanks so much for your question! I use brown lentils and let them cook in the soup. You could cook them separately if you wish. If using canned, cooked lentils, you’ll want to drain, rinse and add them at the end. Thanks again and hope this answers your question.

  3. My husband was very skeptical of this soup. He doesn’t like soup or squash and is skeptical of lentils. He was very impressed with the flavor and had a second bowl! Thank you for a new recipe to add to the mix.

    1. Hi, Kim, Wow, so this soup had numerous strikes against it per your hubby. Love that it won him over! Thanks so very much and glad you both enjoyed!

  4. You cook the bacon, then remove it, saute the onion in the bacon fat, then gradually add the other ingredients. Meanwhile, I guess you eat the bacon you just fried? It doesn’t seem to go back in the pot.

    If it was me, and I was gradually washing, chopping up and adding ingredients while that delicious bacon was sitting there in front of me, I’d probably eat most of it, so that makes sense to me.

    1. Hi, Anne, You rock! That’s what I get for writing a recipe while under the weather. Yes, you most certainly put the bacon back in! Thanks so much and I’ve corrected the recipe!