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

Spicy Kale Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon

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Spicy 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!
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Italian
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Low Calorie
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 8
Calories 376


  • 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 ½-inch cubes (2-3 cups)
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 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.


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.


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