A simple, vegan butternut squash soup with coconut milk and lots of curry. A super healthy and delicious winter soup!
How about all those New Year resolutions? Do you do that? I stopped a long time ago because never once did they bring anything else than frustration at my incapability of ever following one for more than 3 days…
So, if I plan to lose 2 kg, make more sports or take more time to learn something new, it doesn’t matter if I start in January or May. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, no matter when I start.
But still I like to think that I cook a little bit healthier at the beginning of a new year. Not because of any resolution in this direction, but after Christmas (goose, bread dumplings and lots of cake and cookies), New Year’s Eve (homemade pizza, dessert with heavy cream and ice cream) and my husband’s birthday two days ago (sarmale – cabbage rolls, cheese and sausage platter, lots of bread and cakes), I really feel like eating soup… Really! No joking!
I cooked this curried butternut squash soup with coconut milk several weeks ago, so it is not exactly the soup we are eating today, but still we have soup, another one…
How to make the vegan butternut squash soup
It’s a soup, so no difficult instructions here.
I’ve made this curried butternut squash soup recipe using half of a rather large butternut squash. I used about 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs butternut squash and used the rest to make these delicious pumpkin fritters, which I haven’t cooked in a long time.
The most annoying part when working with butternut squash is the peeling part. I often choose to buy the Hokkaido pumpkin, which is very similar in taste to butternut squash, just because in that case I can skip the peeling part.
How to cut and peel a butternut squash
Step 1: Cut off the stem and bottom end of the butternut squash.
Step 2: Cut it in half vertically, in the place where the thinner part starts.
Step 3: Place one half of the squash on the cutting board, cut size down. Hold the squash with one hand and peel the off the skin using a good knife or a vegetable peeler. Start at the upper side of the squash and go down with the knife. Repeat with the other half of the butternut squash.
Step 4: Cut the part of the squash containing the seeds in half as well. Remove the seeds using a spoon.
Step 5: Cut the cleaned squash into thick slices and cut those slices into cubes.
After cleaning and cubing the squash, continue by gently cooking chopped onions in coconut oil or olive oil.
Add the spices and the garlic, stir for about half a minute and add the cubed butternut squash. Stir to coat for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetable stock and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Puree the butternut squash soup with coconut milk with an immersion blender and adjust the taste with salt and lemon juice.
I garnished the vegan butternut squash soup with fresh chopped parsley. Coriander can be used instead.
I also saved 1 or 2 tablespoons coconut milk to garnish the soup. That is more for the eye, it is really not necessary, but you can do it if serving the soup to guests. Heavy cream can be used instead, but that is not vegan.
What spices to use for the curried butternut squash soup
I used a masala curry mixture, which is more or less my standard one. Use your favorite curry powder, but adjust the quantity depending on the heat of the mixture. The one I used is not particularly hot, a little bit, but mild enough for the children to be able to eat the soup as well.
I used a small of amount of cayenne pepper because my curry powder was not that hot. Start with a pinch and add more according to taste.
You can also use curry paste, which in most cases is even better than the dry spice mixture. Adjust the quantity in this case as well, curry paste is usually hotter than curry powder.
If you like ginger, you can also add 1-2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger to the curried butternut squash soup as well.
What goes with the butternut squash soup with coconut milk?
You can never go wrong with a simple slice of bread. My quick whole wheat bread is perfect to eat with soup. You can have it as it is or with butter (if you’re not vegan). Dinner rolls, crackers or crispbread make a perfect side as well.
Any kind of sandwich (vegan or not vegan) or cheese toasties would also be great.
I make sure that the soup is very hot to make up for the cold rice, I spoon some rice on the soup plate and cover it with soup. Stir well and allow a minute or two for the rice to get some warmth from the hot soup.
Alternatively, a rice or grain salad would make a good accompaniment for the butternut squash soup with coconut milk. Something like this spelt berry salad or this bulgur salad with chickpeas, for instance.
The vegan butternut squash soup with coconut milk can be easily reheated.
- 1 small butternut squash, about 1 kg/ 1.1 lbs
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons curry powder (See note)
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional and according to taste
- 750 ml/ 25.3 fl.oz/ 2 ½ cups good quality vegetable broth
- 1 can coconut milk (400 g/ 14 oz)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
- sea salt
- some fresh parsley or coriander to garnish
Cut and clean the butternut squash.
Cut off the stem and its bottom end. Cut it in half vertically, there where the thinner part starts.
Place one half of the squash on the cutting board, cut size down. Hold the squash with one hand and peel the off the skin using a good knife or a vegetable peeler. Start at the upper side of the squash and go down with the knife.
Repeat with the other half of the butternut squash.
Cut the part of the squash containing the seeds in half as well. Remove the seeds using a spoon.
Cut the cleaned squash into thick slices and cut those slices into cubes.
Chop the onion finely. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cook the onion gently for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until translucent.
Add the finely chopped garlic, curry powder and cayenne pepper, if using. Stir well for about 30 seconds.
Add the cubed butternut squash and stir well to coat with the spices. Saute for about 2-3 minutes stirring often.
Add the vegetable broth and the coconut milk. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the butternut squash cubes are soft.
Blend the soup with an immersion blender and adjust the taste with sea salt and lemon juice. Start with one or two teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and add more according to taste.
Serve hot as suggested above.
Note: Adjust the quantity of curry powder according to how hot the powder is and to your taste. Alternatively, you can use curry paste. In this case 1 or 2 teaspoons should be enough, curry paste is usually hotter than curry powder.