Kalyn's Kitchen

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup uses favorite Autumn ingredients, and this tasty vegetarian soup has gluten-free and lower-carb options.

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Butternut Squash and Kale Soup finished soup in bowls

Sometimes recipes come together out of whatever’s on hand and then they turn out to be some of my favorites, and this Butternut Squash and Kale Soup is one I came up with when I had butternut squash and kale in the fridge. The bonus ingredient in this soup is the Farro I’d been craving ever since I first tried it in Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar.

The butternut, kale, and farro combination here was wonderful, but I know that Farro isn’t gluten-free or low in carbs, so keep reading for other options if that isn’t going to work for you.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • Farro
  • onion
  • Olive Oil (affiliate link)
  • Dried Thyme (affiliate link)
  • Dried Sage (affiliate link)
  • vegetable broth
  • butternut squash
  • kale
  • salt and black pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan for serving (optional, dairy-free without the Parmesan)

Do you hate cutting up butternut squash?

I wrote a post about How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash and I think for Roasted Butternut Squash it’s definitely better when you cut it up yourself. But to use in soup, those packages of pre-cut butternut squash that show up this time of year are great!

What if you need a version of this soup that’s gluten-free?

You can easily make a gluten-free version of this soup by switching out the Farro for brown rice; I would use Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice (affiliate link).

How can you make a version of this soup that’s lower in carbs?

Butternut squash has some carbs, so this can’t ever be a super low-carb recipes. But you can make a tasty lower-carb version by using more kale and less butternut squash and switching out the Farro for cauliflower rice or Palmini Rice (affiliate link).

Who else LOVES Butternut Squash?

I’m a huge butternut squash fan from way back in childhood, which is why my carb-conscious recipe blog has so many butternut squash recipes, and when it’s fall I just have to have it a few times every year. You can use My Top Ten Recipes for Butternut Squash or My Favorite Roasted Butternut Squash Recipes to see more of my butternut squash faves!

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup process shots collage

How to Make Butternut Squash and Kale Soup:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. If you’re using farro, start by soaking it for at least 15 minutes. 
  2. If you don’t want to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash, I think pre-cut squash cubes are great for soup. 
  3. Cut the squash into pieces not more than 3/4 inch across.
  4. Saute the diced onion with the thyme and sage in the soup pot.
  5. Add the stock to the onions and herbs and bring to a low simmer; then add the farro and simmer 10 minutes.  (You can skip this extra ten minutes if you’re using brown rice; cauliflower rice will be added towards the end of the cooking time.) 
  6. Add the squash cubes and simmer about 30 minutes.
  7. Mash the squash a bit so some pieces will thicken the soup, then add the kale (and cauliflower rice if you’re using that) and simmer 20-30 minutes more.
  8. Stir in a little balsamic vinegar if desired, and serve hot.
  9. This is good with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on at the table.

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup finished soup in bowls

More Delicious Soups with Butternut Squash:

Turkey Soup with Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut squash
Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week! And this recipe would be perfect to make on the weekend and enjoy for a meatless lunch or dinner.

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup finished soup in bowls

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

This delicious Butternut Squash and Kale Soup has some of my favorite fall and winter ingredients.


  • 1 cup Farro (see notes)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage (rubbed sage)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 cups diced butternut squash
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 T balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan for serving (optional, this soup is dairy-free without the Parmesan)


  1. Soak Farro in cold water 15-30 minutes. (Rice does not need soaking)
  2. Cut butternut squash into cubes not more than 3/4 inches across.
  3. Chop onion, then heat olive oil in bottom of large soup pot, add onion and saute about 5 minutes.
  4. Add thyme and sage and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  5. Add vegetable stock to the soup pot and bring to a low simmer.
  6. Drain Farro and add to stock, then simmer 10 minutes. (You could skip this initial ten minutes of cooking with brown rice.)
  7. Add butternut squash cubes and simmer about 30 minutes, or until squash is quite soft.
  8. Use a potato masher to mash some of the squash so it dissolves into the soup, leaving other pieces whole.
  9. While soup simmers, wash and chop kale.
  10. Add kale to soup (and cauliflower rice if you are using that) and simmer about 20-30 minutes more.
  11. I like the greens cooked fairly well in my soup, check sooner if you prefer chewier greens.
  12. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  13. If desired, stir in a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar right before you serve the soup.
  14. Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.


Use one cup of brown rice for gluten-free option or 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice for low-carb option. If you don't care if it is vegetarian, this would be great made with homemade chicken stock.

Nutritional information is for the version made with Farro and doesn't include optional ingredients.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: .3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 595mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 8gSugar: 6.3gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The use of butternut squash and farro would make this Butternut Squash and Kale Soup phase two or three for the original South Beach Diet. You could make a lower carb soup by making this with Cauliflower Rice or another type of low-carb rice product, but soup with butternut squash will never be super low in carbs. Use brown rice to replace the Farro if you want the soup to be gluten-free.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Check out Soup Recipes for more tasty and healthy soups!Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2008. The photos were updated in 2014 and the recipe was last updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

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    31 Comments on “Butternut Squash and Kale Soup”

  1. sounds amazing… and healing.

  2. I love everything about this soup, Kalyn– the colors, the flavor, and the nutritional boost! I’m planning on posting on a red lentil and kale soup in which I used red kale too.

  3. Butternut is so beautiful in soup. What a perfect autumn combination. Lovely.

  4. Great looking soup the the flavour contrast of sweet squash against earthy kale sounds yum.

  5. This looks like a hearty soup! I love butternut squash and I’m off to check out your post on how to peel and cut it up!

  6. mmmm…Kale and butternut squash – two of my favorite things, together in one pot. Yummy!

  7. that sounds heavenly!

  8. What a fantastic recipe Kalyn and you’re so lucky to have that garden! I was relieved to find that I cut Butternut Squash in exactly the same way as you recommend.

  9. Some of the best soups are born of the simple expediency of using whatever is left over, or what needs to be used up. I think it forces us to try combinations we might never have thought of otherwise.

  10. Am I nutty but I really do find this soup can sweep me off my feet! So beautiful! Healthy and no body would know ;0) until you tell.

  11. Thanks to everyone for the nice thoughts about this. I was so happy with how it turned out.

    For those who haven’t tried farro, it’s very much worth looking for. I can’t find it anywhere in Salt Lake so far (although I am going to try the Italian market on the other side of town.) I know you can buy it at Amazon.com if all else fails. I’m lobbying my local whole foods to carry it, but they look at me like I’m crazy.

    I did buy a bunch of it in Boston and had it shipped, but it hasn’t arrived and I’m getting worried because a few other things that were supposedly mailed to me haven’t shown up either. Fingers crossed that I will get it!

  12. So glad to see that farro made it safely from Boston and into this wonderful soup. The recipe epitomizes Fall for me — dark greens, winter squash, hearty grains.

  13. Kalyn, what a delicious soup. Farro is really a fabulous grain. I don’t eat it often enough but everytime it comes into my kitchen i keep asking myself why i don’t have it more often. I have loads of kale at the moment so i can easily reproduce your dish.

  14. I am a big fan of farro, kale, & sqaush so this a home run – thanks for sharing!

  15. That soup looks wonderful ! I have never heard of farro either but I will be looking for it.

  16. look so yummy! I love soups, when it gets colder like this time of the year they are real comforters 🙂

  17. Kalyn what a beautiful soup! I love your recipes! You enlighten me so much on using veggies in different ways and branching out and trying the unknown!

  18. Great recipe! It looks so fresh, healthy and totally delicious. I love it!

  19. I’ve never used (or even heard of!) farro. I will definitely have to try it out… I’m tring to get Bobby to eat more whole grains 🙂

  20. This looks great, I am very into farro these days – although I haven’t soaked it ahead of time. Interesting.

    I love your header! Although the kid in me wants to collect chestnuts just to throw them 🙂