easy butternut squash soup

Fennel-Scented Squash Soup

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Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 8 ingredients
This Fennel-Scented Squash Soup recipe is a big favorite of mine and of students in our classes. This thick, creamy, rustic soup makes a perfect meal with good bread and a salad. It’s also...


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cups winter squash, such as butternut, or kabocha, seeded, peeled and cut into a medium dice
  • 1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups water, or stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, or cilantro, for garnish

Nutrition Facts


377 cals


16 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

3 g

Monounsaturated Fat

10 g


50 g


5 g


9 g


14 g


1080 mg


  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed soup pot over a medium-high flame until it starts to ripple. Add the fennel seeds and cook, stirring until they start to darken, about 30 seconds. Do not let them burn!
  2. Add the onion and sauté for a minute, then turn the heat down to medium and sweat for about 5 minutes. Add the squash, sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt and sweat partially covered, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes or until the squash starts to soften.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the lentils and stir to mix well. Then, add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the lentils are soft and the squash mashes easily against the side of the pan, about 25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat, and let the soup sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Mash the squash up against the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. If you like a smoother soup, blend with an immersion blender. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, black pepper and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Serve.

Chef Tips

If you are having oral problems such as cankers or post radiation dryness, this sweet delicious soup can be made even smoother by whizzing a couple of cupfuls in a blender. Try swirling in some whole milk Greek yogurt for extra smoothness. And let the soup cool somewhat before eating.

Registered Dietitian Approved

All our recipes are created by chefs and reviewed by our oncology-trained staff Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and meets the standards set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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