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Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Paleo & Vegan)

Curried Butternut Squash Soup – This creamy curry butternut squash soup is velvety smooth and perfect for cooler months. Grab a spoon and dive in! (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30) Scroll down for the full recipe + a video tutorial! 

Close up view of 2 bowls of curry butternut squash soup with coconut milk swirl and cilantro garnish

I have an odd habit (let’s call it a quirk because that sounds a little more lovable) of trying to prove that there is merit in a food I may not initially like. (I tried jicama for 8 years before I decided it was okay, for instance.)

I’m fortunate in that I really do like most vegetables. I just love eating a wide variety, and I see it as a fun challenge to try new recipes to highlight the best features of the ingredients.

Michael is a pretty good veggie eater too, but his list of “no thanks” veggies when we got married was a little longish–mushrooms, artichokes, zucchini, summer squash, winter squashes, tomatoes, olives, kale, etc. I love all of those things. My quirk (see doesn’t that sound like it’s not overbearing and awful?) has come to good use over the last 10 1/2 years.

These days, he’s now a MAJOR tomato soup lover, enjoys heaping scoops of butternut squash pasta sauce, loves mushrooms in his stew, and even tolerates olives much better than he used to.

Michael was a squash H-A-T-E-R so I feel like he’s a good authority on the issue, but he will tell you (even if I’m not in hearing distance) that there are some great uses for butternut squash, and soups and sauces are among them. Here’s why this curry squash soup recipe is such a winner:

 

Close up of coconut milk being stirred into butternut squash soup

Why This Curried Butternut Squash Soup is a Winner:

Amazing texture. This curry squash soup is perfectly velvety smooth. It’s soothing on a sore throat, warming on a cold or grey day, and can even win over kids who don’t like big pieces of veggies in their soup.

Gorgeous colors and flavors. The silky richness (thanks to the coconut milk), and the gorgeous color the squash brings to the table are two of my favorite things about this soup. Blended with the right flavors, the natural sweetness of the squash really comes to play and pairs so beautifully with the curry paste (more on that in a minute). Add some subtle layers like a drizzle of chili oil (store-bought or homemade) and some fresh cilantro, and you’ve really got something amazing.

It’s easy. I love the ease and complexity you get when you use red curry paste. You’re packing big-time flavor in with very little effort. It’s easier than ever to find these days (all my regular grocery stores carry it, and I can even find it at Target or Amazon). As for the assembly, this is a very low-maintenance soup. Sauté your onions and squash for a few minutes, stir in the other ingredients and set it to simmer while you set the table and make a salad or warm up some bread, if you like. Then, let it cool for a couple minutes, blend, and you’re done!

Front view of two bowls of curried butternut squash soup with coconut milk swirl and minced cilantro garnish

Tips, Tricks & Notes for Perfect Curried Butternut Squash Soup:

TOOLS OF THE TRADE. You can use a blender or an immersion blender to puree this soup. Immersion blenders tend to be a little safer for hot soup (see the next note!), but do take a bit of extra time to get the soup completely velvety smooth. The choice is yours! If you use a traditional or high-speed blender, do be sure to follow the safety tips below.

SAFETY NOTES! – Please (PLEASE!) don’t blend boiling hot soup in your blender. It’s not safe! It *IS* safe if you let it cool a bit before pureeing AND if you follow these tips for safety:

  • Work in batches to prevent overfilling your blender. Over-filled blenders of hot liquid can cause splatters/burns. Aim to fill it no more than about 1/2 full each batch.
  • Whenever you blend something warm, it’s important to make sure your blender lid is vented (if possible) to allow steam to escape. Make sure the lid is on securely, but open any stoppers in the lid when possible. (Blendtec and Vitamix blenders have a little stopper in the center of the lid that you can open at the top to release steam).
  • Cover your blender with a dish cloth for added protection from splatters.
  • PS – If you take the extra step of roasting the squash (see the notes in the recipe card), you can instantly cool it down by using room temperature broth in the blender with the warm squash.

FLAVOR BOOSTERS – This curried butternut squash soup is deliciously flavorful on its own, but can easily be kicked up a notch or two if you like. You can roast the squash instead of sauté/simmer it (see the notes in the recipe card for how to do this). Or, you can try adding 1 tsp ginger and 1 clove garlic to the onion as you sauté it to bring out even more of the curry flavors. Lastly, you can add a bit of kick by mixing in some red chili flakes with the squash and onions.

IS IT SPICY? This soup is made to be in the mild to medium range on the heat scale, but obviously heat tolerane varies person to person. I use Thai Kitchen red chili paste which isn’t spicy and is mild enough for my spice-averse kids to tolerate it without an issue. If you’re nervous, start small with the curry paste (you can always add more later!). Conversely, if you like more heat, you can look for red chili paste that’s spicier, or add some chili oil or chili flakes to the soup.

Craving More? You Might Like:

Overhead view of view of 2 bowls of curry butternut squash soup with coconut milk swirl and cilantro garnish

 

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Close up view of 2 bowls of curry butternut squash soup with coconut milk swirl and cilantro garnish

Curried Butternut Squash Soup


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: about 7 cups 1x

Description

Curried Butternut Squash Soup – This creamy curry butternut squash soup is velvety smooth and perfect for cooler months. Grab a spoon and dive in! (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 68 cups diced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (I use canned)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

To serve:

  • chili oil or sriracha (optional)
  • About 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • Additional coconut milk, to drizzle

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and squash and cook about 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are semi-translucent.
  2. Stir in curry paste and vegetable broth.
  3. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes, or until squash is very tender. (it should smash easily with a fork)
  4. Let soup cool slightly, then work in batches* to blend soup in a blender until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can blend it right in your soup pot using an immersion blender.
  5. Stir in coconut milk, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve with additional coconut milk and fresh cilantro for garnish.

Notes

Flavor Boosters:

  • Kick the Flavor Up a Notch – Try roasting your squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F, rather than sautéing it. The roasting brings out a bit of sweetness and depth that’s really nice when you’ve got extra time. While squash is roasting, sauté onion with a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan until translucent. Stir in curry paste and coconut milk. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Let cool slightly. When squash is tender, work in batches to add squash cubes to the blender, along with the coconut milk/onion mixture. Add vegetable broth and puree until very smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper, to your preference.
  • Or… try adding add 1 tsp fresh ginger and 1 clove garlic when sautéing the onion. This will deepen the curry flavors and add a note of freshness that’s lovely.
  • For a bit of kick, add 1/2 tsp red chili flakes when sautéing the onion.

*BLENDER SAFETY TIPS: 

  • Be sure to let the soup cool a bit before pureeing. (It should be a comfortable enough temperature to put your finger in without being burned.)
  • Work in batches to prevent overfilling your blender. Over-filled blenders of hot liquid can cause splatters/burns. Aim to fill it no more than about 1/2 full each batch.
  • Whenever you blend something warm, it’s important to make sure your blender lid is vented (if possible) to allow steam to escape. Make sure the lid is on securely, but open any stoppers in the lid when possible. (Blendtec and Vitamix blenders have a little stopper in the center of the lid that you can open at the top to release steam).
  • Cover your blender with a dish cloth for added protection from splatters.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Soup, Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian, American

Keywords: curry butternut squash soup, curried butternut squash soup, butternut squash soup, vegan, paleo, whole30, gluten free

Close up view of 2 bowls of curry butternut squash soup with coconut milk swirl and cilantro garnish with text that reads "Gluten Free, Vegan & Paleo Curry Squash Soup"

This recipe was originally posted Sept 2015. It’s been fully updated and improved Oct 2018.  

9 Comments

  1. I cannot get enough butternut squash! Thankfully, I have a house full of butternut squash lovers, but I usually just steam it and mash it. This soup looks amazing and I am sure it will be a huge hit here!

  2. Made this last week and loved it! I made a double match to send to school for a teacher appreciation lunch. I only kept enough for me to have it twice. I immediately wished I had more. Thanks for your delicious recipes!

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