Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Butternut squash soup

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6
Yield: 40 ounces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
755 Calories
68g Fat
40g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 755
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 68g 88%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 945mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 72mg 360%
Calcium 155mg 12%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1033mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Squash season reaches its peak in the fall, when we’re all looking to lean into cozy flavors and warming meals. This velvety soup is perfect for cool autumn nights, topped with a bright herb sauce inspired by the legendary Cheese Board in Berkeley. The recipe makes a lot of sauce, but trust me, you’ll want to put it on everything—pizza, sandwiches, tossed with crunchy vegetables as a dressing, you name it. The creamy, mellow flavor of the squash pairs beautifully with the punchy sauce, resulting in a light but flavorful lunch or dinner. Round out the meal by serving with plenty of good bread or grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Roasting the squash saves on prep time (no peeling or chopping required!) and does double duty by adding delicious, caramelized depth of flavor to the soup. It’s also hands-off and makes for easy clean-up, making it a weeknight-friendly meal. 

I like to use a high-speed blender to achieve the silkiest soup, but you can achieve similar results with a hand blender—just be sure to thoroughly puree all of the vegetables. Using coconut milk instead of heavy cream results in a lighter soup, with just a hint of coconut flavor.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Soup:

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise & seeds removed

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 4 clove garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

  • Coconut cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, for serving, optional

Spicy Green Sauce:

  • 2 bunches cilantro

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, tough stems removed

  • 2 jalapenos, stems removed and cut in half

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or sambal oelek, optional

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Drizzle the squash halves, onions, and garlic cloves with the olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper all over top. Place squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet, then scatter onions and garlic around it.

  3. Roast until squash is very tender and the vegetables are caramelized, about 40 minutes. Let squash cool for about 15 minutes, until cool enough to handle.

  4. Peel the garlic and place the cloves, onions, and squash flesh into a high-speed blender (alternatively, you can place into a large pot or Dutch oven if using a hand blender); discard squash skin. Add broth, coconut milk, and honey to the blender, then blend on high until very smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

  5. Transfer the soup to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat on low until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

  6. To make the spicy green sauce, add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until pureed, about 1 minute. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months if not using right away.

  7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, then top with a dollop of spicy green sauce and coconut cream, if desired.

Storage

  • Both the soup and green sauce can be made ahead and freeze well. To reheat the soup, place in a saucepan, cover, and heat over low until warm. Defrost the green sauce overnight in the refrigerator. 
  • Make the soup up to a week in advance, portion into serving sizes and refrigerate, then reheat as needed.

Tips

  • When shopping, look for firm, heavy squash with smooth skin. Butternut squash is at its peak in late summer through fall. 
  • Any leftover green sauce can be served with pizza, on sandwiches, or as a salad dressing. Try it spread on a baguette with tomato and mozzarella for a caprese-inspired sandwich!


Variations

  • You can also make this with red kuri or acorn squash—just use the equivalent weight and roast for a few minutes less, depending on the size of the squash. 
  • For flavor variations, add ¼ cup red curry paste and omit the green sauce. Or try serving with a drizzle of maple syrup and toasted coconut flakes for a sweet/savory combo.

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