Though pumpkin takes centerstage throughout fall and winter, butternut squash really deserves some time in the spotlight, too. My husband is an avid gardener, and this recipe was inspired by some butternut squash I harvested from our front-yard garden. The fall’s gentle, temperatures here in coastal New England extend the growing season a tiny bit, so we’ll be enjoying a generous pile of squash this winter!
For this soup, I paired the squash with the warm, savory flavors of chili and cumin to balance the squash’s natural sweetness. The final swirl of coconut milk (or cream) gives it a velvety texture.
I am a fan of any recipe that helps me save time in the kitchen. This recipe can be a serious boost to your weekly meal prep if you double it. It freezes well, so it’s wonderful to stash it away for a busy night when you can just defrost it, heat it, and add it to a meal with a lovely protein and huge pile of veggies on the side for an easy, nourishing balanced meal.
- Use the peeled, pre-cut squash available at most supermarkets.
- Use a handheld immersion blender for the pureeing/blending step. This one is a great option.
Yes, there is a safe way to cut butternut squash.
If the thought of cutting hard butternut squash strikes fear in your heart, no worries! It can be done safely (and easily!), without losing a finger.
You see, I love a good deal when I see one, and I hate spending extra $ on pre-cut squash if it’s no big deal to do it on my own. It’s definitely cheaper to buy it whole, and in purchasing it whole, you get the benefit of extended shelf life compared to pre-cut squash.
Well, here’s the super easy, safe way around that. Instead of attempting to cut a rock-hard raw squash, try this sneaky tip:
This soup is full of comforting, nourishing flavors and textures. It’s warmly spiced without being too spicy, and comes together in just a few steps. And I just couldn’t resist throwing in a few pomegranate arils as a garnish. The tart sweetness totally complements the savory squash flavors. Cranberries or craisins would be a great garnish, too.
And if you’re in a soup kind of mood, also check out my super-easy recipe for Black Bean Soup.
helpful tools to make this recipe
- chef’s knife
- cutting board
- soup pot in a size that works for your needs (Like this super giant one, or this 6-quart one)
- immersion blender for quick pureeing
- 2 20 ounce packages peeled, cubed/chunk butternut squash (40 oz. total) (OR if using whole butternut squash, about 3lbs squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped); frozen works, too)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 large shallot diced (or substitute with similar amount chopped onion)
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (fine kosher salt)
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (canned kind) OR heavy cream
- pomegranate arils or cranberries (or craisins) for garnish optional
- In a medium pot, heat oil on medium low heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook until softened. Be careful not to brown the garlic (reduce heat if necessary).
- Add cumin, chili powder, and salt, and stir for one minute (until fragrant).
- Add cubed squash and approximately 4 cups of broth to pot.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.low for 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.* If too thick, add more broth as necessary.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds or cranberries if desired.
*If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in batches in your regular blender. IMPORTANT: Check your blender's directions on how to safely blend hot foods.