This vegan and gluten-free carrot, lentil & squash soup with walnut croutons exemplifies the late summer to early fall shift. Its bright orange hue, warm spices, and creamy richness are the perfect combination for a time of transition.
With the end of September just around the corner, it's officially starting to look and feel like fall. That subtle chill in the air, a few trees prematurely turned golden, and a sudden craving for warm, comforting meals that waft sweet fall spices.
This soup exemplifies the late summer to early fall shift. Its bright orange hue, warm spices, and creamy richness are the perfect combination for a time of transition. Carrots, red lentils, and butternut squash are simmered with onions and spices in vegetable broth and puréed to silky smooth bliss. No need for cream in this soup; nature's finest plants get the job done.
Garnishes are usually my favorite part of every dish, and this soup is no exception to my patterns of favoritism. Walnuts are tossed in a mixture of coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon and baked until they become crispy and caramelized. Although they're technically roasted nuts, we're going to bend the rules and call them croutons. They add sweetness and a dose of healthy fats to this vegetable-laden bowl of goodness.
On an unrelated note, I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the seasonal shift. I love this time of year but am sometimes caught off guard by just how different the vibes of fall feel after experiencing those sunny summer highs. I can never put my finger on what it is exactly, but I remember one of my yoga teachers talking about the same funny feeling last fall, and it confirmed my own annual-fall-funkiness experience.
All I know is that an extra workout or two a few weeks in a row usually knocks the weirds out of me, so I'm preemptively kicking it up a notch. Combating the fall funkies (and the abundance of dessert recipes I've been testing lately) one Vinyasa flow at a time. Anyone else know what I'm talking about or am I sounding a bit crazy? I'll make my exit now and leave you with soupy goodness and thought-provoking (or stifling) strangeness. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Carrot, Lentil & Squash Soup with Walnut Croutons
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 cups peeled and diced carrots
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 2 ½ cups water or plain almond milk
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
- Dash of cayenne pepper
For the Candied Walnut Croutons
- ½ cup raw walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ tablespoon melted coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- Parsley leaves
- Coriander seeds
- Coconut milk
To Make the Soup
- Add the coconut oil to a large stock pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook for 6-8 minutes or until beginning to turn translucent.
- Add in the vegetable broth, carrots, butternut squash, lentils, smoked paprika, cumin, and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. About halfway through cooking, cover the soup.
- Once the carrots and squash are tender, turn off the heat.
- Add in the water or almond milk, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth and creamy texture. Be patient with this step, as it takes about 5-8 minutes of blending to get it completely smooth.
To Make the Walnut Croutons
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the walnut croutons while your soup is simmering.
- Add the walnut pieces, coconut sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt to a bowl. Toss to coat.
- Spread the coated walnuts out over a small baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Pour a few ladles of soup into a bowl, drizzle with coconut milk (if desired), drop a small handful of walnut croutons in the center, and add in other garnishes if desired. Serve immediately.
- Refrigerate leftover soup.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen says
What a beautiful soup! And I love the idea of these walnut croutons!
Thanks, Liz! They are a bit addictive, so I think I ate more straight from the pan than I did as actual croutons. Get 'em while they're hot! :)
Any chance white wine vinegar could be used instead of apple cider vinegar?
Hi Suzanne! Yes, white wine vinegar will work well. The vinegar is really just in there to add a dash of brightness to liven up the flavors in the soup, so you can even omit it if needed.
Fantastic looking soup!
Thanks so much, Greg!
This looks super lovely. The pictures came out oh so beautiful.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Kimberly!
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Katie (The Muffin Myth) says
This soup looks exactly like the turning seasons in a bowl! So much goodness in there with the carrots and squash, and lentils along side for a little heft. I'd like a big batch of this with extras in the freezer. Thanks for the recipe!
[email protected] says
I just tried your soup recipe tonight, it was fantastic! I didn't end up making the walnut croutons because I was in the middle of making a huge batch of Mushroom Bacon. I ended up putting some on top and it worked great! Thanks again for such a wonderful recipe!
Mushroom bacon?!! That sounds amazing, Gabby! I think I'd give up the walnut croutons for a little of that too :) So happy that you enjoyed the recipe, and thanks for taking the time to comment with your feedback!
I've made this soup 2x and each time it was amazing! I didn't have vegetable stock, so used organic low-sodium chicken stock. I also substituted coconut milk for the water/almond milk...And, if anyone hasn't discovered it yet Trader Joe's now sells 'coconut cream' in a can. I used this to swirl on top (divine). The walnut croutons are a must...I'm addicted. Great recipe...I'll be making it all winter long. Thank you!
OMG, I almost have no words for how AMAZINGLY delicious and creamy this soup is! Made it for dinner tonight and was in pure foodie heaven with every spoonful!!! I used Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk in place of the water / almond milk and blended it in my high-powered Vitamix. The result was a fantastic combination of savory and sweet that was like liquid velvet in every bite. I immediately added it to the menu for an upcoming dinner party! Great job Ashley, I love your recipes and your blog!!
Tracy! Your sweet feedback made me smile. I'm so, so happy to hear that you enjoyed this soup so much. I bet coconut milk was awesome as a substitute for the water and almond milk, and I can't wait to try it! And added to your dinner party menu? Blushing and honored! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughtful, kind words!
I have tried a handful of your recipes so far and they are all amazing. I found your website maybe a couple weeks ago now on pinterest, and have already spent a few hours looking through your recipes and marking all the ones I want to try. I probably haven't even made it through half of the recipes on your site because every time I get to a new one it sounds so amazing I click on it to see what is in it, end up reading the whole thing, and I end up starting another grocery list.
I love your pictures, I love your recipes. I love how you use a variety of foods, and all so colorful. They are healthy and energizing. Easy to make. I already love cooking as it is, and love using a variety of foods, and colors, and textures, but lately I have looked forward so much to making breakfast, lunch, and dinner cause I'm waiting to make all these wonderful recipes.
I didn't intend on writing so much....but I just wanted to say Thank You!
Your recipes are wonderful :)
Hi, Jody!! Your comment just put a huge smile on my face. Thank you for sharing such sweet, supportive words. I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to receive such thoughtful feedback. I'm so glad that you're enjoying the recipes, pictures, etc so much and that you're excited to make so many things. Please free free to reach out whenever with questions, suggestions, etc. Thanks again!
Excellent soup. Easy to make. Freezes extremely well. I have been making it for the past two years. My ratio of squash to carrots is 2:1 to 3:1 depending on the vegetables' sweetness.
Just made this and it is thick and filling and delicious. I have it portioned out for the week :). I was in the mood for a soup that really showcases the flavour of the veggies and this it the spot. Thanks for a nice recipe!
This soup sounds delicious! Question, are the lentils cooked or uncooked when you add them to the soup? Thanks! : )
Thanks! Uncooked. Enjoy! :)