Dishing Up the Dirt

Winter Squash, Kale & Lentil Stew

This soup was inspired by our recent seed order for the upcoming farm season. We were drooling over the seed catalog pages while we were flipping through the winter squash section. We had such a successful yield last year and I’m really looking forward to growing more varieties to see what else will produce well for us. This soup highlights one of my favorite varieties Red Kuri but any sweet winter squash variety will work well here. Try butternut, delicata, pumpkin, blue hubbard, acorn, or whatever is available to you. The sweet squash pairs really well with the subtle bite from the kale and the freshness of the herbs. We’re still eating our way through squash storing in the barn but it’s exciting to think about the different varieties we’ll be introducing this year. Tumbleweed Farm is hopefully going to have our most successful farming season in 2015. Fingers and toes have never been crossed so hard!

This stew is honestly one of the most comforting meals I’ve had all winter. It warms you from the inside out and is perfect on a dark January evening. I highly recommend dunking giant slices of rustic bread into the soup for a little added treat. We paired our stew with a glass of Syncline Winery’s Subduction Red which took this simple weeknight dinner over the top.

This soup makes fantastic leftovers which can easily be reheated for lunches or quick dinners all week long. I hope wherever this post finds you that you all are warm, cozy and ready to eat a nourishing meal with someone you love. Bon appétit!

Winter Squash, Kale & Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 30-40 minutes    Serves: 4-6

  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small leek, diced (white and light green parts only)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized winter squash such as butternut, red kuri, acorn etc. Peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Roughly 2 cups.
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano OR 1 teaspoon dried
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cup french green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-8 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leek and cook, stirring often until beginning to soften. About 8 minutes. Add the garlic, winter squash, herbs and tiny pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant. About 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lentils, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Add 6 cups of stock first and if need be add additional stock or water if the soup needs to be thinned. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked and the squash is tender. About 20-25 minutes. Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup cool a bit and taste test. Adjust seasonings if need be.
  3. Serve warm with rustic bread and a glass of your favorite wine.


* Use this recipe as a guide. *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Taste test as you go. *Cooking times will vary from kitchen to kitchen and cook to cook.

Leave a Reply

14 thoughts on “Winter Squash, Kale & Lentil Stew

  1. What a lovely winter Stew. I love the lentils for texture and protein. Your photos are always so lovely!

  2. Rachel says:

    Would you have slow cooker instructions for this ?

    1. Andrea says:

      I haven’t tried this in the slow cooker but I’m sure it’d work just fine. I’d suppose you could throw all the ingredients in (minus the kale) and cook on low all day. 30 minutes or so before you’re ready to serve I’d add the kale and mix well. Taste test and adjust seasonings before serving. I hope this was helpful.!

  3. I’ve been making it a point to try as many different varieties of winter squash as I can find, I agree that Red Kuri is fabulous!

  4. What a gorgeous looking stew! I’ll be crossing my fingers and toes for you guys too! 🙂

  5. You always paint such an interesting and honest portrait of farm life. I really enjoy reading all of your posts about farming adventures. As a supporter of local (where I live in the Kootenays), organic produce, it is nice to hear of all the hard work and planning that goes in getting it to the markets.
    This stew look incredibly nourishing and warm.

  6. Laura says:

    Your photos are beautiful and this stew looks delicious! I love kale and squash together and these chili winter days always make me want stew. Thanks for sharing:)

  7. Oh I can’t wait to make this! I may even have to go out and grab the wine too 🙂

  8. I love it: drooling over the seed catalogue! We are just starting to grow stuff in our garden, so I’m in the midst of doing the same. Though if I told my friends, they wouldn’t get it. Glad I’m not the only one!
    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Beautiful as always.

  9. Karolyn says:

    Sweet! Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Karolyn says:

      It’s on the stove right now! Nothing like a little midnight stew… btw, my boyfriend peeled and cubed the entire butternut squash for me because he knows how much it frustrates me. Cooking with someone you love brings you closer together, and peeling a butternut squash for someone you love is practically proposing marriage. : )

      Making your recipes is the best!

      1. Andrea says:

        haha!!! I love it! A man who will cut and peel your butternut squash is a keeper for sure 🙂

        Thanks for cooking my recipes and following us along. Thanks for the lovely comment! xoxo

  10. Sarah says:

    My husband and I just moved from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City and this was the first meal we cooked in our new home last night. It was PERFECT. Yesterday was cold, blustery and snowy — this delightful soup warmed us right up! I can’t wait to have it leftover for dinner tonight.

    1. Andrea says:

      this makes me so happy! Thanks for the lovely comment and I’m glad you’re breaking in your new kitchen with delicious food. Good luck settling in and stay warm!

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