Whether orange, green, cream or gold, smooth, bumpy, ribbed or striped, winter squash epitomize the perfect vegetable for fall and winter. Winter squash are one of the richest sources of the plant-based nutrients important for a strong immune system. As a result, eating a bowl of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup helps protect against colds and flu. Pretty nice for a soup that also nurtures our soul and enlivens our palate with its complexity of flavors and creamy and chunky texture.
“Soup of the evening, beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth of beautiful soup?” Lewis Carroll
Naturally sweet and delicious
I didn’t grow up eating winter squash. Unless you count the one time as a teenager I tried half of an acorn squash during dinner at the home of a high school friend. The center of the squash was filled was a deep pool of butter and brown sugar. All the better to ignore the blandness of the squash. It didn’t work for me.
Many years passed till I gave winter squash another try. All it took were a few wedges of baked kabocha squash. So delicious, I’ve been hooked ever since on it and other denser textured, naturally sweet varieties of winter squash.
- Deep green with lighter green stripes, kabocha has about the sweetest, densest textured of them all.
- A close second is buttercup squash with its beautiful turban shape.
- Intense red-orange skin with golden flesh, uchiki kuri has smooth, tender, sweet flesh.
- Butternut squash, by far the easiest to peel and the most widely available winter squash. If you’ve ever struggled peeling a winter squash, then you know why being easy to peel ranks butternut squash among most everyone’s favorite.
- Delicata squash, a sweet-tasting, no-fuss winter squash. Keep the tender skin on these small (under a pound and a half) sweet-fleshed squash. They’re easily cut into attractive rounds for roasting.
Peeling a butternut squash
A sharp peeler easily removes butternut squash’s smooth skin. For the best flavor and texture, make a second pass with the peeler to remove the fibrous green-veined layer hidden below the skin. And just below it you’ll uncover the bright orange, creamy and sweet-flavored flesh.
When dried and ground, turmeric becomes the deep orange spice powder we know best from preparing Indian curries. Many research studies show curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, to have many health benefits.
Adding a little turmeric to Roasted Butternut Squash Soup makes the soup healthier, as well as turning it a deeper, more glorious shade of orange.
More winter squash recipes
- Roasted Delicata Squash, Purple Onions & Tahini Sauce
- Delicata Squash with Maple Balsamic Pomegranate Glaze
- Black Rice Risotto with Arborio, Leeks & Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Buttercup Squash Soup
- Winter Squash Soup with Apple & Ginger
- Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Vegetables, Kalamata Olives & Feta
- Winter Vegetable Tagine aka Moroccan Winter Vegetable Stew
A bold blend of flavors. Sweet squash, spicy ginger, robust Aleppo pepper, rich coconut milk and bright, fresh lime juice. Thank you, Deborah Madison, for inspiring this recipe. She also suggested the perfect finish for this soup. The light swirl of toasted sesame oil adds an earthy layer to the complexity of flavors. Vegan, dairy and gluten-free.
Makes 11-12 cups
From Start to Finish: 1 ½ hours Printer-Friendly Recipe.
4-4 ½ pounds whole butternut squash, unpeeled
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1 large onion, peeled, cut into ½-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
¼ cup finely diced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon salt
2 15-ounce cans light coconut milk
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Toasted sesame oil
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.
- Peel the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the large rounded end and enough of the neck into 1-inch chunks to equal 6 cups. Toss in a bowl with ¾ tablespoon of the olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Place the squash chunks in a single layer on one of the prepared pans.
- Cut the rest of the neck into ½-inch dice to equal about 6-7 cups. Toss in a bowl with ¾ tablespoon of the olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Place the diced squash in a single layer on the other prepared pan.
- Roast the squash for 25 minutes. Turn once or twice so the cubes brown evenly.
- Heat 1½ tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, stir in the onion. Cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the finely diced ginger, Aleppo pepper, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk, 4 cups of water and the large chunks of roasted squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer the soup partially covered for 10 minutes.
- Use a blender to purée the soup in 2 or more batches till smooth. Return the soup to the soup pot. Stir in the roasted ½ -inch cubes of squash. Simmer for 10 minutes partially covered.
- Stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste for salt.
- Serve drizzled with a little toasted sesame oil and a sprinkling of the cilantro and scallion.