Butternut Squash Soup

In this Thai-style butternut squash soup, we've taken a creamy blended soup, added in a healthy dose of Vitamin A from the butternut squash, and elevated it all with aromatic Thai red curry and a squirt of fresh lime juice.

Soups are a staple of Asian cuisine. From Ramen in Japan, to Laksa in Malaysia, and Hot and Sour soup in China, everywhere you turn in Asia, you'll likely encounter a steaming bowl of soup.

Trouble is, most traditional Asian soups are quite complex, some requiring days and many obscure ingredients to get right. Most of us just don't have that kind of time on our hands on a busy weeknight.

Enter this Thai-style butternut squash soup. While it doesn't claim to be authentic, our easy butternut squash soup has all the things you want from a good Thai soup — spicy, sour, sweet all at the same time — mixed with butternut squash and blended to perfection.

With this Thai-style butternut squash soup, your kitchen will smell like the best food stall in the busy Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, and your evening will immediately be off to a good start.

Find more recipes by Ksenia Prints on At The Immigrant's Table.

Gather the ingredients for this butternut squash soup

There's not much you need to make a good butternut squash soup except a good blender and some seasonings. So first, make sure you have either a standing blender or a hand-held immersion blender. The former is more typical, but the latter will enable you to make easy work of soups, so consider investing in one if you make a lot of blended soups.

The next thing you'll need is butternut squash. You can buy butternut squash at the supermarket year-round. If you're shopping at the farmer's market, the best time to buy butternut squash is from September to March.

When buying butternut squash, look for a firm-skinned one that is heavier than it looks (just hold it in your hand to ascertain). It shouldn't have visible deep cuts or gashes, though a few surface scrapes won't hurt. Finally, the ideal butternut squash has an oblong shape, with a small belly, rather than a pronounced pear or hourglass shape — those squash would have more seeds to scoop out.

Other than squash, the only vegetables you need in addition for this Thai-style butternut squash soup are onion, garlic, and lime (the soup is also great if you use lemon). You may also get some cilantro if you'd like to sprinkle some on the soup while serving.

In addition, this soup needs Thai red chili paste and coconut milk, which you can find in any Asian food market. If you don't have Thai red chili paste, just use a few squirts of the hot sauce of your choice, plus 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. You won't get the same flavor, but it'll be a good approximation!

How to cut butternut squash for soup

Cutting butternut squash for this soup is simpler than it looks, and shouldn't be intimidating. Just arm yourself with a good knife, a sturdy cutting board and some elbow grease, and you're 90 per cent there.

The first thing you'll need to do is cut the ends off. Slice off the top and bottom parts of the butternut squash (the part where the stem comes from, and the bottom dark circle). Slice the butternut squash in half, lengthwise, giving yourself a good base to cut on.

Scoop out all the seeds from the belly of the squash, and discard them.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layer of the butternut squash, removing the peel.

Cut the squash into slices, horizontally. Then cut each slice into equal-sized pieces. And that's all there is to it!

Prepare your vegetables and remaining ingredients for this butternut squash soup

Because the majority of the flavor in this butternut squash soup comes from Thai red chili paste and the squash, there aren't that many other ingredients to prep.

Dice your onion into medium-sized pieces, but don't worry too much about keeping them an equal size as you'll be blending the soup later. Mince the garlic finely (you can also use a garlic press).

Juice your lime. Cut another lime into a few slices for serving the soup.

Start cooking your onions, butternut squash, and garlic

The first step to cooking this butternut squash soup is cooking your vegetables. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil to a large pot set to medium heat. Add onion, squash, garlic, chili paste, salt and pepper. Stir it to mix well, ensuring the chili paste gets spread across the vegetables to keep it from burning.

Cover the pot with a lid, and let it all cook for 10 minutes. The onion should change color and become translucent, while the squash should soften just slightly. Stir again to ensure the Thai red chili paste coats all the vegetables well.

Add broth to butternut squash soup and cook it fully

Once the vegetables have softened initially, it's time to cook your soup. Add the broth to the pot and stir to ensure vegetables are covered. Our advice is to use either chicken or vegetable broth for best flavor. But if all you have is beef stock or bone broth, go for it! Necessity is the mother of invention, and you just may invent a new butternut squash soup you like even better.

Cover the pot with a lid, and let it cook for 30 minutes. Stir pot periodically with a spoon, ensuring you don't run out of liquid.

It's time to blend your butternut squash soup

Once the squash is fully cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork, remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. This is needed if you're using a standing blender to mix your soup, as otherwise the soup may splash all over and scald you. If you're using an immersion blender, you may proceed — with caution, as hot soup can still splash around.

If using a standing blender, work in batches to transfer the contents of the pot to your blender. Attach and fasten the lid, and cover blender top with a kitchen towel to protect yourself and your kitchen from the hot contents. Purée the mixture until smooth; you may need to process it on varying speeds to ensure it gets fully smooth. Transfer the puréed butternut squash soup back to the pot. Repeat until you have blended all of the soup.

Alternatively, you can purée the soup directly in the pot by using an immersion blender.

Add coconut milk to butternut squash soup

Add coconut milk to the pot of soup, and stir to combine. It'll require a few stirs to get cohesive.

Return the pot to medium heat and cook for an additional 10 minutes for all the flavors to blend. Season with lime juice.

Taste and correct seasonings, adding salt, Thai red chili paste, or lime juice if necessary. The soup should be mainly creamy and sweet, with a spicy aftertaste and notes of fresh, sour lime. If your soup is too spicy, add more coconut milk. If it's too sweet, add more lime. If it's too sour, a little bit more coconut milk and a touch of brown sugar will help — there's plenty of room for you to adjust this butternut squash soup to your tastes.

Serve Thai-style butternut squash soup with lime slices and additional cilantro and coconut milk

Your soup is ready to be served!

For the easiest, quickest meal, just pour the butternut squash soup into bowls, serving a few additional lime slices on a small plate in the middle of the table.

For the most beautiful presentation, drizzle some coconut milk into each bowl before serving. Sprinkle some chopped fresh cilantro on top. If you have additional Thai condiments or seasonings like Thai basil, crunchy fried onions, or peanuts, serve those on a communal plate in the middle of the table.

For a full meal, add some cooked rice noodles to the soup bowls.

Either way, this Thai-style butternut squash soup is going to taste delicious on a busy evening. What's more, you'll feel like you've gone and travelled to Thailand, all in the span of one bowl.

Butternut Squash Soup
4.8 from 4 ratings
We're taking our favorite, easy butternut squash soup up a notch by giving a Thai-twist. It has all the things you want from a good Thai soup — spicy, sour, sweet all at the same time — mixed with butternut squash and blended to perfection. With this Thai-style butternut squash soup, your kitchen will smell like the best food stall in the busy Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, and your evening will immediately be off to a good start.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
8
servings
two bowls of butternut squash soup
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small squash (about 6 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juice of
Optional Ingredients
  • Lime slices, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Coconut milk, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat pot to medium heat. Add onion, squash, garlic, chili paste, salt and pepper. Stir, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes until onion changes color and becomes translucent. Add broth. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the squash is fully cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork, remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. If using a standing blender, work in batches to transfer the contents of the pot to a blender. Fasten the lid, cover blender top with a kitchen towel, and purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer puréed soup back to pot. Repeat with remaining batches until all soup has been processed.
  3. Alternatively, you can purée the soup directly in the pot by using an immersion blender.
  4. Add coconut milk to pot. Return pot to medium heat and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Season with lime juice.
  6. Taste and correct seasonings, adding salt, Thai red chili paste or lime juice if necessary.
  7. Serve the butternut squash soup with additional lime slices, fresh cilantro, and an additional drizzle of coconut milk.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 162
Total Fat 13.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 1.0 g
Sodium 318.7 mg
Protein 1.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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