This rich, creamy, oil free butternut squash soup is perfect for cozy winter evenings. Ready in 40 minutes, this vegan soup is flavored with fresh ginger, red pepper flakes and lime for a mildly spicy dinner option.
This vegan butternut squash soup has been in my repertoire for years. I love its smooth creaminess but that it also fills me up. The combination of coconut milk, ginger, butternut squash and just a hint of heat turns into a joyous explosion in the mouth. I love butternut squash because of its mellow flavor and ability to disguise itself in so many dishes, like this soup or creamy butternut mac and cheese.
I served this on a regular basis at the Rivertown Inn where I was the head chef for a few years. I served it at weddings, baby showers and church luncheons, and it was met with rave reviews from our youngest guests to great-grandmothers of the bride. This soup is slightly sweet so it appeals to more sensitive palates and the slight heat is a pleasant afterthought.
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash – You can use another winter squash such as kabocha or acorn, just make sure you have 4 pounds.
- Red Pepper Flakes – This makes the soup very mildly spicy, just a slight heat at the back of the mouth. If you’re super sensitive to heat or avoiding nightshades you can omit.
- Coconut Milk – You can also use lite coconut milk, or coconut water if you are avoiding saturated fats. If you use coconut water use 2 cups coconut water and reduce the broth to 2 cups.
- Ginger – I love fresh grated ginger, but you can also use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger in its place.
- Optional garnishes – the garnishes are what make this super really beautiful. Try adding a drizzle of coconut milk, fresh cilantro, toasted coconut or roasted seeds from the squash.
How to Make Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is largely hands off and roasting the squash is what takes the bulk of the time. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Start by cutting the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. Make sure to save those seeds! They can be roasted in the oven just like pumpkin seeds and used as a garnish on top of the soup.
Next, place the squash cut side down on the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until a fork pierces easily through the skin. Set aside.
While the squash is roasting chop your onion, garlic and ginger.
Heat a couple tablespoons of water over medium-high heat in a medium soup pot. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until lightly browned and soft, about 5-7 minutes, adding more water as necessary to prevent sticking. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add the red pepper flakes and vinegar. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits to deglaze the pan.
Remove from the heat and add the broth, coconut milk, maple syrup and lime juice. Scoop the butternut squash out of the skin and into the soup pot. Use an immersion or regular blender to puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Return to the heat and cook until heated through. Thin the soup with extra broth or water if it is too thick, season with salt to taste. Garnish as desired and enjoy!
Can you Make Butternut Squash Soup Ahead of Time?
Butternut squash soup can be made up to three days ahead of time and reheated as desired. Also, you can roast just the squash up to three days ahead of time and use it when you’re ready to make the soup.
What Goes Well With Butternut Squash Soup?
Butternut squash is a hearty soup, but pairs well with many sides. Here are some ideas:
- Kale Salad
- Asian Ginger Slaw
- Shaved Asparagus Salad
- Gluten Free Cornbread
- Mix in some brown or white rice for a heartier soup.
Is Butternut Squash Soup Healthy?
Absolutely! Butternut squash, and winter squashes in general, are considered a superfood. Butternut squash delivers on the nutrition front and is a good source of magnesium and potassium. It also contains folate, Vitamin C and calcium and is one of the top food sources of Vitamin A.
Ginger and garlic are both known to be powerful anti-inflammatories and are used generously in this soup recipe.
The only nutritional downfall in this recipe might be coconut milk, which contains saturated fats. If you are avoiding saturated fats you can substitute the coconut milk for coconut water. See more information in the recipe for substitution instructions.