Though we normally associate butternut squash and warm spices with the fall season, butternut squash remains in season throughout the fall and into the winter. While it is still in season, I wanted to write the recipe for this soup that we’ve been preparing pretty regularly.
There are few ingredients here, but what really gives flavor to this delicious soup is the warm spices. Just a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves elevate the flavors here to enhance the nutty flavor of the squash. I personally prefer a very creamy soup, as opposed to a chunky one, and so I add the cooked soup to the blender along with the coconut milk to create a smooth finish.
While we’re talking about the coconut milk, I feel that I have to tell you that I use coconut milk to add creaminess to soups because regular cream upsets my stomach. I avoided coconut milk for a long time because, well, I don’t like coconuts and didn’t want that kind of aftertaste in a savory soup. However, because this soup will create over 9 cups of liquid, the 1/2 cup of coconut milk here will alter the creaminess of the soup, but not the flavor – you won’t notice it all. Believe me, if anyone would notice, it would definitely be me!
This soup is authentically gluten and dairy free, but feel free to swap out the chicken broth with vegetable broth in order to make this recipe vegan! I just happened to use what I had in my pantry. Though I agree stock is best homemade, I rarely have the time to make stock, portion and freeze it, especially for the amount I use in my cooking. For this reason, I keep a stock of it in my panty and am sure to buy the low-sodium version whenever possible. Since chicken stock is a processed food, it contains a significant amount of sodium to give it a long shelf life (another reason why homemade is better). In order not to overwhelm a dish with that salty flavor, I favor the low sodium version so I can have more control over the amount of salt I add to the recipe. Keep this in mind if you are using regular chicken stock.
The main reason I love this soup is because it is so incredibly healthy – there are so many nutrients coming from the squash – a cup of squash (which you’ll easily get in a bowl) has more than the recommended amount of daily vitamin A, and that rich orange color provides an abundance of beta-carotine. The coconut milk is both a healthy fat and contains antioxidents, and lets not forget the cinnamon! Cinnamon has a ton of health benefits including being anti-inflammatory. This soup is incredibly healthy, incredibly filling, incredibly cheap, AND incredibly delicious! It’s a win, win, win win. I hope you enjoy it!
Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small, white onion, diced
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into half inch chunks
- 32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Set a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and red pepper flakes and heat through, about a minute. Add onions and shallot and cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add butternut squash to the pot and toss to coat. Cover the squash in the stock and add in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to combine, cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes, until squash is tender.
- When the squash has cooked, add coconut milk and stir to combine. Mash with a potato masher or transfer to a blender and blend until creamy. Garnish with additional coconut milk and serve.