Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
There are a million recipes for classic butternut squash soup and I love almost all of them. For me, the ginger and coconut milk is what makes this one special. This spiced butternut squash soup is creamy, delicious and dairy free. Bonus.
I find butternut squash soup deeply comforting. It reminds me of fall and I love the rich texture and flavor. Plus, coziness and soup make a lovely pair. Although I have to admit, I’m writing this in a tank top on a 70 degree day- not exactly cozy. But what can I say, fall is fall to this Midwesterner and I will be cozy regardless! And if you’re looking for some delicious bread to go along with this soup, I highly recommend this garlic basil twisty bread from La Bonne Vie. It’s beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to eat.
Making this soup
I made this a few times before I felt I got it right because I wanted the ginger to come through stronger. Adding a whole tablespoon of fresh ginger creates a warming soup that has that subtle spiciness of ginger at the end.
While I love my fair share of dairy, I don’t miss it in this soup. A lot of folks in my life are dairy free and this fits with my goal of eating more whole food plant based meals as well. The coconut milk pairs well with the ginger while still allowing the butternut squash to carry the flavor.
A little aside about language & soup…
For those that don’t know, messing up the English language is a bit of a specialty of mine. I learned embarrassingly late that it was feline, not felion (read: fe-lion. I maintain it still makes sense ?). In high school, I coined a term ‘up in heaval’ that I used sincerely, to describe my messy room. That one still gets frequent use. And one of my favorite words to incorrectly use is fester. I googled fester to see just how incorrectly I use it, and the answer is… completely incorrectly. I don’t know when or why, but I have been using fester for quite a while with a positive connotation…which doesn’t really exist. For example, foods like soups and curries are especially good after you’ve let them fester a bit. It gives them time to own their flavors and lean into their full potential.
And while the correct definition of fester is kind of ruining it a bit for me, I’m going to stick to my gut and say this soup is even better the next day after it has had time to fester…or settle in or whatever makes you most comfortable when thinking about soup.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 butternut squash small/medium
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg divided
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon divided
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½ onion chopped, almost 1 cup
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut milk plus some for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (204° C).
- Slice butternut squash in half and drizzle with ~1 Tablespoon of oil. Use pastry brush or spoon to cover surface area with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon each).
- Place squash face down on any baking dish/sheet lined with tin foil and bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender and cooked through. It's fine for the outside skin of the squash to brown-this adds flavor! Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan with 1 Tablespoon of oil, until it shimmers. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon each). Cook for 4-6 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger, lowering the heat, and continue cooking for 4 more minutes, or until the onions are tender and browning.
- Scoop the squash into your blender, discarding the skin. Add the maple syrup, onion mixture and 2 cups of broth to the blender. Blend on high until smooth, or until you've reached your desired consistency. Pour back into saucepan. (If your blender is small like mine, you may have to work in two stages.)
- Add more salt and pepper to taste and any remaining broth to reach your desired consistency. Lastly, add the coconut milk and stir.
- When serving, drizzle 1 Tablespoon of coconut milk in each bowl for garnish (optional).
- I only needed about 2 cups of broth, but you might need more depending on the size of your butternut squash.
- Lowering the heat once you add the ginger helps retain the spiciness and flavor of fresh ginger.
- Taste the soup from the blender to make sure there are no pieces of onion remaining, before transferring to the saucepan.
- Other options for garnish include pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and cilantro.