Curried Squash Soup

Curried butternut squash soup with onion, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin, and garnished with sour cream and cilantro.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes, yielding about 6 cups of cubed squash (see how to cut and peel a butternut squash)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (if you substitute ground mustard, only use 1/4 teaspoon)
  • A dash of ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)

Method

1 Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed stock pot on medium heat. Add a dab of butter to the olive oil. Working in two batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Toss to coat all sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over the squash. Then spread out in an even layer and let cook, stirring only occasionally, so that the edges and sides get lightly browned. You may need to adjust the heat up to ensure browning, or down to prevent burning or drying out. Add more oil and butter for the additional batches. Remove from pan and set aside.

curried-squash-soup-1.jpg curried-squash-soup-2.jpg

2 Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pot, on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring now and then, until softened. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, and fresh ginger, and cook for a minute or so longer. Use a flat bottomed wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits.

3 Return the butternut squash to the pot. Add the chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover the pot. Cook for 40 minutes until squash is completely tender. Use an immersion blender (or a stand up blender in which case work in batches) to blend the soup smooth. Add more salt to taste if needed.

Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  1. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    I love curried butternut squash soup!!! I’ve been looking for a good recipe!

    My favorite way to eat it is with some goat cheese on top. It just melts right into the soup.

    Love the idea of goat cheese on top, thanks! ~Elise

  2. Sunny P

    Yum, looks fantastic, Elise! :) Have you tried making it with the plain yogurt? I am a big fan of using yogurt as a substitute whenever I can!

    Yes, I tried it with whole fat plain yogurt. I prefer sour cream, but yogurt will work too. ~Elise

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    This soup would be delicious with Blue Hubbard squash, too, and a restaurant chef gave me a tip for how to open one: drop it on the floor (preferably outdoors, on a sidewalk or driveway), so it cracks open into big pieces. Then roast those pieces to loosen the flesh for soup. Butternut squash is easier — and not as messy!

    Oh that’s a great visual, thanks Lydia! ~Elise

  4. Nik

    What a coincidence! I made butternut soup for lunch today. (And for lunch tomorrow and the next day and the next, because it’s just me and my 17 month old son and there’s a lot of butternut soup.) My recipe is pretty plain: leeks, garlic, potato, butternut and chicken stock. I think I’m going to try the goats cheese addition mentioned above.

  5. Sara

    I make a very similar soup with canned pumpkin. I used to make it with squash, but then one day, I couldn’t find any squash, so I tried a can of pumpkin left in the pantry from thanksgiving, and it was even better. Now I always make it that way. It’s also super fast and easy, because the pumpkin is pre-cooked and mashed.

  6. Sasa

    We used to do the throwing on the ground thing at a restaurant I used to work in too – strange looks abound but it works! I’ll do anything to avoid the chop and peel (years of having a kitchenhand has made me laaazy) but this looks great – nothing like ginger with pumpkin – I’d sort of forgotten what a great combo that is, thanks Elise.

  7. Lubinka

    Dear Elise,
    I happen to have some butternut squash but not curry. Do you think that I could substitute the curry with some saffron? (I realise it won’t be curry soup anymore, but still, I’d really like to make some butternut squash soup…)

    If you want a butternut squash soup without the curry, I suggest this butternut squash apple soup. I don’t recommend saffron as a substitute. ~Elise

  8. Shani

    Ooh I love making curried Butternut soup. I always make sure to make a big batch and then freeze portions. Nothing better than discovering a pre-made butternut soup in your freezer on a cold winters day. ;o)

  9. JMorrow

    I had never thought of browning it first! This recipe left my mouth watering, thank you. You are right about the carbon blades too. They hold a great edge and have the strength that most stainless wouldn’t be able to maintain to cut through a squash.

  10. Susan

    I cook my butternut in the microwave. Put quite a few nicks with the point of a butcher knife in the skin so it won’t explode. Cook on high about 30 minutes. I just scrape it out and mash, add butter and eat. It is sooo flavorful and juicy!!!!

    This time it was good in the soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    Ooh, I love this! This is almost exactly my same recipe that I use for carrot soup, except I use always use raw veggies. The pan-cooking technique must give this a fabulous taste – thanks for the recipe, Elise. I’m actually not a huge fan of butternut squash (I like acorn better!), but I think I’ll try Sara’s suggestion to use canned pumpkin for my second try…

  12. Susan

    Can I substitute vegetarian broth for the chicken stock? Looks yummy. Love your recipes, Elise! Thanks for a wonderful column.

    Yes. You may need to up the spices, or you may want to add some cream in at the end as in my experience, most vegetable broths aren’t as rich or flavorful as those from chicken. ~Elise

  13. caroline

    That bowl is fantastic– where did you get it? So appropriate that it almost mimics the shape of an acorn squash that’s been halved crosswise.

    Thanks! I got that bowl at Anthropologie. Cute, isn’t it? ~Elise

  14. Maytina

    Fantastic! I was just reading about Butternut Squash soup on A Veggie Venture! I made a 3 squash soup this weekend – I love it! Even better with some spice!

  15. wm1

    I love this recipe, BUT, You need to explain that not all curry spice blends are alike. I tried dozens over the years and they vary in taste by a lot. I finally found a hand made extream quality curry blend. It is made by Juliet Mae Spices, in San Francisco. They have an online store but I went and watched the guy grind and blend the spices in the officers club in the Presidio. Really check them out, you will be amazed this kind if detail work is still available.

  16. Misty Kimble

    WOW!!!! This soup was so mild and flavorful. It was thick and creamy. I fell in love with it and bought another squash so I can have it again next week.

  17. Lance KC

    Just made it tonight and it was simply phenomenal! Thanks for that.

  18. Laura Morton

    I roast the squash at 425 degrees (after pricking it) for about 45 minutes to an hour. I cool it then scoop out the soft flesh for soup.
    I make a Huge vat of chicken stock then freeze it in freezer bags as a base for my soups.)
    ( For the chicken stock I roast about 10 pounds of chicken backs and necks at 350 for an hour. Then deglaze with water and pour into a large stock pot. In a large skillet, over medium heat, I melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add two tablespoons of olive oil. I then saute until soft: 2 cups of finely chooped onion, I cup finely chopped carrots, 1 cup finely chopped celery, and 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley. Put this in the stock pot with two teaspoons of dried thyme, cover with water and place lid on top and simmer for about three hours.Cool to room temperature and refrigerate over-night. The next day scoop the fat from the top and discard. Place in bags and freeze. Special note: I do not salt this until I have prepared the finished soup product since salt requirements differ according to the soup. I use this as a base for potatoe leek soup, roated squash, roasted pepper, and mixed root vegetable soups.

  19. Joey

    Made this last night and followed the recipe exactly as written. Simply delicious! Enjoyed the leftovers for lunch today. Thanks for the always-fantastic recipes!

  20. Emily

    I’ve just started using curry powder in recipes (I used to think I didn’t like curry!), and this recipe sounded so good I had to try it. I made it last night and it was a hit! My boyfriend even reminded me again this morning how much he liked it – and it was great for lunch today, too.

    I am new to this site and so glad I found it; I can’t wait to try all of these great recipes! Thank you!!

  21. catherine

    AWESOME recipe! I modified it based on what I had on hand and it turned out so incredible that my husband thinks it could be served in a fine restaurant (which is a supreme compliment for someone who is just learning to cook).

    My modifications were:
    Instead of the squash:
    - 1c leftover roasted pumpkin
    - roasted 1 acorn squash (didn’t sautee it because I have no idea how to get the skin off these things)

    -2.5c chicken broth instead of 4 (I think I didn’t have enough squash but I still used all the same amounts of spices)

    - used 1/2 onion and added an old leek which needed to be used

    - sauteed onion & leek in butter instead of olive oil

    - added a little coriander

    - left out ginger bc I didn’t have any but I’m sure it would be great with ginger

    It is SERIOUSLY incredible. I think one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten. Thanks Elise – I love your blog!!!

  22. Sandra

    This soup was beyond delicious! Perfect for a crisp Fall evening dinner. I added some shredded roasted chicken breast after the soup was on the plate. Sour cream and cilantro balance the flavors perfectly. Wouldn’t change a thing! :)

  23. Elizabeth

    I just made this soup last night. It was AWESOME!!! My husband and I like spicy foods so I added a tablespoon of ground chile paste. (I used sambal oelek).Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe!

  24. joey

    I absolutely love this soup! I have made it twice now with different curries. Both times I had some bulgar in the fridge and since I’m a nut about high fiber I added a spoonful or two to my bowl and then added the soup. In my opinion, the garnish is optional. Thanks!!

  25. Alicia P.

    I’ve made this twice now. The first time I fell head over heels in love with it. I like the sweeter soups but was looking for a more savory and slightly kicktastic version of a Butternut squash soup I’d been making. This was it. I adjusted the seasoning and put in just a little bit of cayenne towards the end *emphasis on little* and it came out perfect. I also used some creme fraiche that I had left over from an old family recipe for Normandy Fish stew so I used that instead of sour cream.

    I’m currently making another batch and doubled it up, since it doesn’t last very long between me, my mother, and my empty pit of a boyfriend. It’s gone within a day! Now, I’m hoping to stretch it out to at least two XD

  26. L.A.

    I made this for a potluck at work, and everyone loved it! Almost everyone who tasted this soup asked for the recipe!

    However, the quality of the squash greatly affects the quality of the soup. I made this soup again at home. It was good, but not the amazing flavor at the work potluck. For the work potluck, I had used a Farmers Market squash that was very ripe–almost too ripe I thought when chopping it. For the second version, I used a squash from a discount grocery store that probably wasn’t ripe enough.

    Buy a quality squash, make sure it’s ripe, and this soup will be a winner!

  27. ARPerry

    This is awesome! I made this the first time it appeared on your site-I stalk this site, it’s not even funny-and it was amazing. I get tired of all the overtly sweet butternut recipes. Well, for some reason this time around, my supermarket did not have butternut squash, weird huh?, so I had to do with what they had. Hubbard, Acorn, Kuri, or Pumpkin. Now, mind you, I didn’t want it to be overly sweet, so I looked over acorn and pumpkin, and given that I’ve never even SEEN a Kuri squash before, and from reading that it was nuttier tasting than the others, I’m making right now with the Kuri squash. So far, it tastes amazing.

    Thanks for all the awesome recipes!

  28. Marcin

    Great recipe. We have just made a curried cauliflower soup. We used blender but it kept the cauliflower texture. I am sure that a squash or a pumpkin would make it more smooth.

  29. Uyen

    Elise – This soup was divine, one of the best I’ve tasted. Thank you from the bottom of my novice-cook heart. x