Don’t let this velvety smooth coconut milk butternut squash soup fool you, it’s loaded with flavor rich garam masala, chilies, turmeric, ginger and tahini!
Squash soups can often times be very bland, simply because most types of squash – pumpkin, butternut, acorn, – are very mild in flavor, and depend on the added ingredients to bring alive the palate when made into a soup.
Preparing this squash, for soup making, has several options; it can be cut in half and roasted, or peeled, chopped into cubes and boiled until soft.
My preference in prepping the squash, is to peel, cut into cubes and simmer the squash in water that has already been flavored with some of the ingredients in this recipe, therefore, imparting flavor into the squash as it cooks.
However, if you would like to use the bulb part of the gourd of the squash as a whimsical presentation for serving the soup in, you may want to scrape out as much of the squash from its shell with an ice cream scooper, and simmer as mentioned above.
Butternut squash is a favorite of mine simply because when it is cooked, the texture is creamy and not granular, as is often with other squash.
Simply roasted with a drizzle of olive oil infused with garlic, rosemary and a little honey is a favorite way, in my home, to serve butternut squash.
When there is leftover butternut from a roasted meal, I cut off all the squash and use it in a soup.
This soup recipe, however, was a recipe I created specifically for a luscious, flavor rich butternut squash soup. Now a most favored soup on my blog!
Flavor means different things to different people. I suppose it is often rooted in flavors we grew up with.
In my kitchen, I often rely on onions and celery to start any good stock or sauce. From there I start to layer flavor through the spices and herbs I use.
Garam Masala is not a spice I grew up with, though cinnamon, mace and cardamom were. Once I tasted the spice blend of garam masala, I knew it would fast become a regular in my kitchen.
The blend of spices that go into this popular spice mix from India, is nothing short of brilliant: lightly toasted whole spices of cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds along with a few pods of cardamom, then ground into a unified spice are the flavor I love most in this soup.
Richness in a soup usually depends on the fat that was used; olive oil, butter or animal fat. This soup, however does not use any of these fats to make it rich.
The medley of spices, onions, celery and ginger are simmered in a pot along with the squash, until the squash is tender.
The simmered content is then pureed, either in a blender or with an immersion blender. Then, the richness is added with full fat coconut milk and Tahini, which has its own natural oils from the sesame seeds. Homemade Tahini is so easy to make too!
The soup simmers for a while longer until the flavors and richness all marry together into a velvety rich soup!
Who doesn’t love soup, especially in the chill of winter! Soup, for me, is the best way I know to sneak a gazillion healthy ingredients into a pot of simmering comfort food.
If your little ones aren’t particularly thrilled about eating soup, just toss a some small cut pasta in there, like; orzo, bowtie, or ditalini. They will lap up the pasta and pay no attention to the healthy ingredients you’ve hidden in there!
Having raised four children and now have several grandchildren, I know a thing or two about hiding healthy ingredients in their food. It was how I came up with their favorite Grandma’s Sneaky Meatballs. Ground veggies mixed with the meat. (Wink)
This recipe packs the flavor, while still allowing the squash to remain the center of attention.
- Butternut Squash
- Coconut milk
- Garam Masala
- Red chili pepper
- Water or Broth
- Stock pot (at least 4 quarts)
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Blender or Immersion Blender
- Cooking Spoon
- Vegetable peeler
- Ice Cream Scooper (to clean out the gourd)
- Stovetop or burner
Flavor Rich Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut squash – 3 cups, cut into cubes
- Onion – 1 whole onion, cut into cubes
- Celery – 2 cups, cut into cubes
- Coconut milk – 1 ½ cups
- Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
- Red chili pepper – just a pinch
- Turmeric – 2 tbsp if fresh, 1 tbsp if powdered
- Ginger – 2 tbsp if fresh, 1 tbsp if powdered
- Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
- Tahini – 2 tbsp
- Water or Broth – 4 to 5 cups (enough to cover all the ingredients)
- Cilantro – 1 bunch, chopped for garnish
- Clean out as much of the butternut squash from the bulb end using an ice cream scooper, set the bulb aside to serve in. Peel and chop into small cubes the long cylinder end of the butternut squash.
- In a medium size stock pot (about 4-quarts), place the cubed squash, cubed celery, chopped onion, spices and water or broth. Bring to a boil, lower and simmer for about 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
- With an immersion blender, or scoop out the solid pieces in the soup and puree in a blender or food processor, puree. Return to the pot and add the coconut milk and tahini.
- Bring to a boil again and lower to a simmer for another 15-minutes. Soup is now ready to serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro.