Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Favorite WinterGluten-FreeCurry

Great curried butternut squash soup! With onion and lightly spiced with curry powder, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the things I love about butternut squash, or any winter squash for that matter, is that they’re practically indestructible. They last for months!

You can harvest one in November and still find it perfectly good to eat in February (as long as you store it in a cool, dry place).

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For the last month I’ve had a hankering to make curried squash soup, and for the last month the squash I picked out for this purpose has been greeting me from the kitchen counter every morning.

Well, the stars finally fell into proper squash soup making alignment and the result was this lovely curried squash soup.

Curried Squash Soup

The trick is to brown the cubed squash bits first, in a little oil and butter. That really brings out the squash flavor.

The trick to that, of course, is effectively cutting a very hard squash. For this you need a large, sharp knife, and a sharp vegetable peeler (I recommend using one with a carbon blade). Some stores sell butternut squash already cut up too.

In addition to curry powder, the seasonings include fresh grated ginger and whole mustard seeds. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro to bring the soup into balance.

My mother and father both declared the soup a triumph, and we’ve been feasting on the leftovers for days.

Craving more squash soup recipes?

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

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

It's easier to peel a butternut squash if you microwave it whole for 30 seconds first. That short amount of time helps soften the peel just enough to make it easier to work with.


  • 1 2-pound 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)
  • Extra virgin 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 tablespoon 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)


1 Sauté the cubed squash: 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.

2 Sauté the onions, spices, ginger: 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 Add the squash, stock, salt, then simmer: 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.

4 Purée the soup: 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.

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

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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44 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Venetia Montanaro

    One of the best soups I’ve ever made….DELICIOUS!A wonderful soup to have on a winter’s day, very warming and full of flavour.


  2. Betsabé

    Very good soup! We all loved it!


  3. Pam Kohart

    Originally, I wanted to make a butternut squash soup with coconut milk. But finding I had no coconut milk in my pantry, I looked for, and found, this recipe. The only difference is I took a large skinless, boneless chicken breast and cut it up into small pieces and browned it with the onion. Used all of the spices as in the recipe, then used my potato masher to just mashup some of the squash that was in a separate bowl from everything else. Then I put everything together in my Dutch oven, put it at a low simmer and let it go for about 15 to 20 minutes. The soup was so good! I will make this again and again and I may even try to tweak it from time to time, by adding chiles, kaffir lime, and maybe that coconut milk!I have been a salt-aholic all my life, and my doctor told me to cut down. I have found that herbs and spices are the best thing to bring out the flavor of foods without using so much salt. I love to experiment! Thank you for this great recipe.


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  4. Kelly

    Love this recipe, make it all the time in large batches to freeze so that I always have a quick lunch on hand. Delicious!!


  5. Timothy

    I just oven roasted the squash halves rather than struggle with peeling and cutting up the raw squash, used no dairy or cilantro/parsley, and added broiled pear slices before pureeing that gave it some needed sweetness. (Some recipes use honey for this.) YUM!!!


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