No, it's basically a classic job for an analog-to-digital converter and a microprocessor.
Since the NTC thermistor is more or less linear over the temperature range in question, it shouldn't require anything more fancy than an 8-bit ADC. Test the range of the A/D conversions and bin them into eight outputs according to temperature, one for each LED you want to light up. Program it so they light in sequence and stay lit (like a real thermometer) or just one lights up depending on what bin the input falls into.
You won't learn much about electronics, but Microchip PIC microprocessors are tons of fun in their own right... and very inexpensive once you have laid out the fifty bux or so for the PICkit 3 programming pod. Make sure you purchase this pod and the chips from Microchip or an authorized distributor because there are a lot of Asian counterfeits floating around.
And if you are really lazy, or just anxious to get something up and working, just purchase an Arduino Uno and program it from your desktop or laptop computer. All the gazintas and gazoutas you need are right there on the Arduino. Just add some LEDs and a thermistor and a few resistors. Voila! An LED thermometer to impress and amaze your friends with your newly acquired electronics prowess. Plenty of "sketches" available on the Internet for this sort of thing, so you don't even have to roll your own code. What's not to like?