New Twist on an Old Favorite

I know what you’re thinking:
Please, Dear Lord let this not be another butternut squash soup recipe. I’m sorry to say that it is, but but but but…please stay awake! Because I think you’ll be happy about this particular version: A curried butternut squash soup boosted with coconut milk.

The google search for “butternut squash soup with coconut milk” will yield thousands of pages. I know because I searched myself…about one minute after I ate a spoonful of the soup, purchased at the Brooklyn cafe downstairs from Joanna’s office, where I’ve been punching the clock lately. I ordered a small cup of it in a hurry and when the nice lady behind the counter told me to fork over nine dollars plus tax, I nearly fainted. Back in the office, when I relayed my sticker shock to Caroline — another staffer, and another Brooklynite — she gave me her best “you’ve-been-out-of-the-city-too-long” look while laughing at how much I was actually enjoying the soup, which had a depth and a richness I never knew had been missing. Is this a thing? I wanted to know. (Google: Yes, definitely.) Why haven’t you told me about it? How have I never thought to make butternut squash soup with coconut milk? (Google: I don’t know what to tell you.)

Fear not, I remedied my oversight within the week. I already had a back-pocket butternut squash soup recipe — which is pretty much straight from Ina Garten — so it was easy to riff on that one. I made a big batch of it last night for the three vegetarian eaters (supplemented with two roast drumsticks for Abby) and though I didn’t add up the lines on my supermarket receipt, I’m pretty sure I came out ahead.

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
This freezes really well, too. 

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch cayenne (to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
6 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 1 medium squash)
3 1/2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 cup coconut milk
lime wedges for serving
optional toppings: slivered almonds, cilantro, yogurt, croutons or baguette slices

Add coconut oil and olive oil to a medium soup pot set over medium-low heat. When coconut oil liquefies, turn heat to medium, and saute onions, curry powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook five minutes until onions are soft and spices are toasty.

Add squash and broth and bring to a boil. (The squash should just barely be submerged.) Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until squash is very well cooked, almost mushy. Remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, whirl the soup until it is pureed. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do this in a regular blender, but just make sure the soup has cooled significantly.) It’s ok if the soup is a little thicker than you prefer. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. If it’s still too thick, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and suggested toppings.

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Interesting. Your DALS butternut squash soup is one of our constant staples – I’m never without it in the freezer (along with your chili!). Next time I make it I’ll try this.


Coconut milk is great in soups. I make a zucchini soup with geeen chili and coconut milk that tastes way more decadent than zucchini should.


Do you think it would dramatically alter the flavor if I substitute olive oil for the coconut oil? That is the one ingredient I don’t have on hand right now!


This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it.

Question: Where is the tablecloth from? It’s gorgeous.


This is the theme of the week. In sharing a beloved mulligatawny soup recipe, a friend recommended adding coconut milk instead of the cream. I’ve made the soup for years and never thought of that.

Alison S

Pumpkin soup is an Australian national dish. Another delicious version (without coconut milk) is to roast half your pumpkin first and stir in a tablespoon of white miso too. I totally agree with adding the red lentils as well.


This looks great. Very similar to the fabulous one on the NY Times Cooking site, which uses ginger and an apple in addition to the ingredients in yours.


I make a similar version of this soup, from a now-defunct parenting magazine. I cheat a bit and roast the halved squash in the oven (instead of peeling & chopping). It’s destined for the blender anyway!


i can’t get past the $9 cup of soup!!! i live in a city!! just no…another reason to make your own!


Hahaha, unfortunately i can totally relate to the expensive soup in nyc situation- only it seems i never end up with one that’s as good as what i make! (Too many winters in nyc i’ve perfected my soup game 😉
I love butternut squash soup with coconut milk, although i always use the whole can. With thinner pureed soups i often blend in a can of drained. white beans or some soaked raw cashews to make it a bit more sturdy and filling. And i like those curry pastes from Mae Ploy that i buy in chinatown , they seem to have a million servings in a tin and last in the fridge for almost ever


This is the way we love doing butternut soup, but ours includes a little ground cumin and coriander toasting with the curry powder, which I think does the trick for us!