For all of my non-adult years (a debatable number, depending on whom you ask) I equated squash with baby food. Not that I was that far off, as those of you with children can attest. But like a few other foods (tomatoes, beans, and even honey), I have seen the light and crawled out from under the rock of childhood ignorance. Please forgive me, squash is pure gold.
Ever since I made a squash pie for my first thanksgiving with my future in-laws, I’ve been hooked on squash. So allow me to either give you squash lovers another favorite recipe, or convince you squash skeptics to give this a try. This soup is incredibly forgiving and Patrick swears that the sweet and salty pumpkin seeds could make us millions.
CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP*
serves 6-8 comfortably as a main
Sweet and salty pumpkin seeds, optional but highly recommended
2 small or 1 large butternut squash, for a total of roughly 4 lbs (you’ll need about 4 cups cooked squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling on squash
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
4 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional, omit if sensitive to spice)
5 cups vegetable broth (if not vegan/veg can also use chicken broth)
salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
1 cup full fat coconut milk, plus more for garnish
chives for garnish, chopped
First, make the sweet and salty pumpkin seeds, and set aside for later. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. De-seed and cut squash into large wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, lightly salt, and bake for 40 min or until very soft.
While the squash is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and lightly salt. Saute for 10 min or until onion is translucent and just beginning to brown. Add ginger, garlic, curry powder, nutmeg, and cayenne; stir over heat for a minute or two. Pour the broth over vegetables and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover for 30 min.
At this point your squash will probably be done (or close to it). When cooked, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then cut the rinds off your squash wedges and discard.
When the broth and veggies have simmered for 30 min, add the squash and coconut milk, then puree with an immersion blender** until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with a splash of coconut milk, chives, and pumpkin seeds.
*this 2016 recipe was updated in 2021 with a few small edits and a couple fresh photos
**If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove soup from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Using a blender or food processor, puree your soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat to desired serving temperature if it’s cooled.
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