Harvest time is here, the temperatures are dropping, and we feel as though it is officially soup season. There is nothing better than making a cozy soup filled with warm spices when the nights get cool.
This spicy butternut squash soup is the perfect comfort food to make during the autumn months. With the colder weather creeping in, we’re always looking for ways to use up the last of our harvest and make healthy recipes.
This is our favorite butternut squash recipe, and it uses simple ingredients along with a few pantry staples. Can you think of a better soup to serve alongside a grilled cheese sandwich?
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This soup is a great way to use up winter squash and peppers from the garden.
- This warm and hearty soup freezes very well. So, you can make a large batch to get you through those chilly winter months.
- This is an easy soup to whip together for such a big payoff of flavor. You can get really creative with your garnishes for a variety of textures and flavors.
- This soup is budget-friendly and you may even have most of the ingredients on hand.
- This recipe is restaurant-quality and tastes better than any soup we have purchased at the store.
- You can serve this soup as a side dish or a main meal. It works great with a hot sandwich or a refreshing salad.
About The Ingredients
- Butternut squash – It wouldn’t be a butternut squash soup with the squash, right? For this recipe, you’ll want to find a squash that weighs about 3 pounds.
- Broth – We prefer using chicken broth in this recipe, but you can easily substitute with vegetable broth for a vegan butternut squash soup recipe.
- Full-fat coconut milk – It’s important to use full-fat coconut milk. This is where a lot of the flavor is for this creamy soup. You will be separating the milk from the cream in this recipe, so do not shake your can. See directions below.
- Yellow onion – Butternut squash and onion combine for a perfect savory flavor. We like using yellow onion or sweet onion.
- Garlic – We love cooking with garlic and this soup wouldn’t be delicious without it.
- Jalapeño & serrano peppers – We love the kick of heat the serrano pepper adds to this recipe. You can also use two jalapeño peppers for a bit less heat.
- Fresh ginger – Our personal preference is to use fresh ginger for this recipe. It adds another level of spiciness that complements the flavors in this soup.
- Brown sugar – A small amount of brown sugar helps to balance out the savory flavors.
- Yellow curry powder – Curry powder is packed with flavor and levels up this soup in an impressive way. This ingredient is not optional, as it adds a significant amount of flavor. Get some here.
- Sea salt – Salt helps to bring out all the flavors in this recipe. If you are using a low-sodium broth, you may want to add a pinch more to taste when the soup is done cooking.
- Cumin – This spice helps add a level of smokiness and a deeper flavor.
- Olive oil – We use olive oil to roast the butternut squash and to cook the onions and peppers.
- Garnishes – Diced apple, pepitas, crushed pecans, maple syrup, coconut cream and black pepper all make excellent garnishes for this delicious soup. We even like to add a sprinkle of fresh cayenne pepper to kick up the heat a bit.
How To Make This Spicy Butternut Squash Soup (Step By Step)
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Prepare the squash by peeling, removing the seeds, and chopping into cubes.
- Carefully divide the coconut milk into two bowls, one for the cream and one for the liquid.
- Thinly slice the onions, chop the garlic and grate the ginger. Deseed and chop both chili peppers. Measure out spices into small bowls.
Prepare the soup:
1. Drizzle the squash cubes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook in your preheated oven for 45 minutes. After squash is cooked, remove the squash from oven and allow to cool.
2. Start the soup by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pan over medium heat. When the olive oil is shimmering, add the sliced onions and chopped peppers and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
3. Add ginger and garlic to the pan, stir, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
4. Add spices, stir until warmed through and fragrant, about 1 more minute.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the solid cream from the coconut milk and stir until combined and starting to bubble. Then, add the rest of the coconut milk, chicken broth, and brown sugar, stirring to combine.
6. Add cooled squash to the Dutch oven.
7. If you have an immersion blender or stick blender, blend soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches and carefully blend soup in a blender for 1-2 minutes or until it has reached your desired consistency. Return the soup back to the pot and allow it to simmer on low heat without the lid for an additional 20 minutes, this will allow the flavors to develop fully.
Serve warm with your favorite garnish! We like using coconut cream, pumpkin seeds, or a drizzle of maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- The sizes of butternut squashes vary greatly. Look for a squash that is about 3lbs. If you do not have a scale at home, weigh the squash at the grocery store.
- Much of the flavor in this soup comes from the fat in the coconut milk. Infusing all the spices and aromatics with the cream is the first step in building a rich and spicy flavor.
- It is essential to separate the coconut milk from the cream. If you just brought your coconut milk back from the store, let the can sit for an hour or so to naturally separate. This makes it a lot easier to scoop out the cream.
- Roasting the squash in halves or cubes will not change the flavor. It will change the amount of time required for the squash to cook completely. If you decide to roast the squash in two halves, anticipate adding another 15 minutes to the cooking time.
- The garnish in this recipe is intended to add another element of flavor and texture to the soup. While parsley and cilantro is commonly seen in butternut squash soup recipes, we recommend something crunchy and/or sweet.
FAQs For This Recipe
Can I use frozen butternut squash for soup?
If you do not have time to roast your squash, you can use frozen squash. Reheat the squash following the brand’s recommended instructions.
Is butternut squash soup healthy?
Butternut squash is loaded with vitamins, antioxidant and potassium. It’s a great choice for a healthy soup for meatless Monday. While most recipes call for heavy cream, we like using coconut milk instead.
Can you taste the coconut milk in this soup recipe?
The flavor of the coconut is very subtle and mostly used to add a creamy and velvety texture to the soup.
How can I thin out or thicken my butternut squash soup?
If your soup comes out too thin, you can add potato flakes one tablespoon at a time. If it comes out too thick, add additional broth about 1/4 cup at a time.
Will the coconut milk curdle in this recipe?
Always cook any kind of milk (including coconut milk) on low heat. While most brands have stabilizers added to help them stand up to high cooking temperatures, it is always wise to be cautious.
Why does my butternut squash soup taste bitter?
If your squash was grown under unfavorable conditions, it may result in a bitter soup. You can add more brown sugar, spices, or garnishes to help compensate.
How can I store this soup?
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days, or for up to 4 months in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave at 30-second intervals stirring regularly, or on a stove in a pan over medium-low heat.
Can you roast the peppers along with the squash?
Absolutely, just be mindful of the time and check them frequently (they’ll likely finish before the squash). You do not want them to dry out and lose too much moisture.
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
This soup is very versatile and lots of substitutions can be made without compromising flavor.
- Chicken stock can be substituted with vegetable broth for a vegan soup.
- Coconut milk can be substituted with heavy whipping cream, full-fat milk, or cashew cream.
- Chili peppers can be substituted with red Thai curry paste (approximately 1.5 Tbsp.)
- Brown sugar can be substituted with coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave in equal amounts.
Let us know in the comments if you make this easy butternut squash soup recipe. We love the creamy texture and comforting flavors of this soup. The only thing that would make it better? A side of grilled cheese, of course!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 Baking Sheet
- 1 Immersion Blender or high powdered blender / food processor
- 1 Dutch Oven
- 1 3 lb medium butternut squash peeled, seeds removed, cubed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 14 oz full-fat coconut milk
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil divided
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed
- 1 serrano pepper seeds removed
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. yellow curry
- 3 tsp sea salt divided
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- Pumpkin seeds
- Candied pecans
- Diced honey crisp apple
- Maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Prepare the squash by peeling, removing the seeds, and chopping into cubes.
- Allow your can of coconut milk to sit for at least an hour (do not shake). This will allow the cream and milk to separate naturally. Divide the coconut milk into two bowls, one for the cream and one for the liquid. The coconut cream is the thick portion on top, and the coconut milk is the thin liquid on the bottom.
- Slice the onion thin and chop the garlic. Grate the ginger. Deseed and chop both chili peppers. Measure out spices into small bowls.
- Drizzle squash with olive oil, sprinkle with about 1 tsp salt, and cook in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. After squash is cooked, remove the squash from the oven and allow it cool.
- Start the soup by adding 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pan over medium heat. When the olive oil begins to shimmer, add the sliced onions and chopped peppers and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the pan, stir, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the spices and remaining salt, stirring until warmed through and fragrant, another minute or so.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the solid cream from the coconut milk. Stir until combined and mixture begins to bubble just a little.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk, chicken broth, and brown sugar stir until well combined.
- Add cooked and cooled squash to Dutch oven.
- If you have an immersion blender or stick blender, carefully blend soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches and carefully blend soup in a blender for 1-2 minutes or until it has reached the desired consistency.
- Return the soup back to the pot and allow it to simmer on low heat without the lid for an additional 20 minutes. This will allow the flavors to develop fully.
- Serve warm with your favorite garnish.