Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

This coconut curry twist on traditional butternut squash soup is spiced up by red curry paste, coconut, lime, and cilantro. It might sound like an unlikely combination but it’s so surprisingly GOOD! It’s light and full of good-for-you ingredients. The coconut and butternut squash make the soup deliciously creamy and the fact the squash has been roasted gives it depth and dimension. It’s also vegan (if you use veggie stock) and makes a great light meal, side dish, or easy frozen and reheated lunch.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butternut squash – The squash is the star of the show here. Make your life a whole lot easier and buy prepackaged cubed butternut squash. If you’re committed to prepping your squash from scratch, go for it. A 2.5 pound squash should leave you with just about the right amount of cubed squash for this recipe.
  • Coconut milk – Light or full fat coconut milk work well in this recipe. Make sure you use coconut milk from a can, and not a carton near the almond milk. You’ll generally find this in the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store.
  • Red Curry Paste – You’ll find curry paste near the Asian foods in your grocery store. Make sure you grab red curry paste, not green. I use this one by Thai kitchen because it’s widely available in grocery stores. Note that curry paste can be quite spicy, though it varies. The brand I buy sometimes varies by bottle. Generally it is extremely mild, but readers have reported that sometimes it’s spicy, and that some other brands of red curry paste are extremely spicy. You might want to look for one that is labeled more mild, and if you are sensitive to heat, try starting with just half the amount called for in the soup and adding more to taste. If you want to avoid spice all together, you could change the flavor profile of this soup a bit and add 2-3 teaspoons of curry powder instead.
  • Broth – Chicken or Vegetable broth work great in this recipe.
  • Shredded Coconut – this might seem like a really strange thing to sprinkle on top of soup. I find I actually like the crunch and it goes so well with the flavor profile! I’m using my favorite coconut chips, but feel free to use whatever you like, including regular sweetened, shredded coconut.

Instructions

  1. This soup starts off with roasted butternut squash. Line a baking sheet with foil, pop your cubed squash on there, and drizzle some olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, give it a quick toss, and pop it into the oven.
  2. When the squash is done, heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add some diced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Next add some stock, the roasted squash, and curry paste and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add some lite coconut milk and lime juice.
  4. Next, it just needs to be blended until smooth. Use an immersion blender, or carefully transfer your soup in batches to a countertop blender.
  5. Ladle into bowls and season with a sprinkling of kosher salt, chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, lime wedges, and a squirt of Sriracha sauce (if desired).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can this soup be frozen? This coconut curry butternut squash soup freezes great! I like putting it into my favorite silicone molds for easy storage. You can feel free to add additional liquid after reheating to get the consistency you prefer.
  • Can I skip the roasting step? Roasting the squash really adds flavor to the soup, but if you didn’t have access to the oven, you could always simmer the squash in the broth until it was soft. You would probably need to add a little extra broth than the recipe calls for to make sure there was enough liquid for that.

Serving Suggestions

  • Since this soup is mostly vegetables and broth, it’s very light! To make it a meal you could serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, a loaf of bread, a side salad and fruit, naan bread, or a more hearty turkey sandwich.

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

This twist on traditional butternut squash soup is spiced up by red curry paste, coconut, and lime. Roasted squash gives it a nice depth of flavor.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 36 ounces peeled seeded butternut squash, cubed to abt 1/2"
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 13.5- ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • Sriracha sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Place the cubed butternut squash onto the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and toss to combine.
  • Roast for 35 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Note: the smaller your chop, the faster it will roast.  I find the pre-chopped bags of squash are fairly small so if using, you may want to set your timer for about 20 minutes and keep an eye on it after that.
  • While the squash is roasting heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Free free to add a bit more oil if you need to, to cover the bottom of your pan. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender about 5 minutes. Add the stock, roasted squash (when it's done roasting), and curry paste and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Add the coconut milk and lime juice. Blend until smooth, either by using an immersible stick blender or in batches in a countertop blender. If using a blender, make sure to remove stopper in lid and cover with a paper towel to let steam escape.  Be very careful when blending hot liquids.
  • Ladle into bowls and season with a sprinkling of salt, chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, additional lime wedges, and a squirt of Sriracha sauce (if desired). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Buy pre packaged butternut squash to make your life easier!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 recipe, Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g
Course: Soup
Keyword: butternut squash, soup, vegan, vegetarian
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Our Best Bites, adapted from Cooking Light
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. This soup is literally the best soup I have ever tasted! I’m not exaggerating. It has all of the flavors that I love. I am in heaven! I loved it with chopped cilantro and unsweetened coconut flakes on top. I made it for my family and everyone loved it. There were 5 of us and we ate all of it (so much for 8 servings!ha!). I served it with the yummy Asian Cabbage Salad from your first cookbook. Amazing!!! Thank you!

  2. So weird! My bottle of Thai Kitchen red curry paste looks the exact same as the one in your picture (I checked to make sure) but mine is super spicey. I’ve used it before in coconut curry chicken and usually have to use only a small amount due to the heat. Seems everyone else has no problem with heat in their curry paste. I have no idea why mine is so hot and it’s the exact same thing. Oh well…still a great recipe! 🙂

  3. I made this tonight. It was yummy. I have a few suggestions. I let some of the readers’ comments scary me into using only 2 tablespoons of the red curry paste. I wish I’d used the full amount. But luckily a bit of sriracha was able to bring the soup to life. I prefer thick soups, so I might decrease the amount of broth next time. I am not a coconut fan. I really like the flavor, but not the texture. I put some peanuts in instead and thought it was a pretty good substitute. But then i decided to try some coconut, which I toasted. I really enjoyed it, which surprised me. But I really like the crunch it added, which makes the soup seem sofisticated instead of like baby food. 🙂

  4. I just bought the ingredients for this soup. I had a hard time finding the red curry paste–I had to go to 3 grocery stores. So I just wanted to let readers know I couldn’t find it at WinCo or Walmart, but Albertsons had it. I can’t wait to try it. I love squash soup. My husband really doesn’t. But he likes Thai food, so I’m hoping we’ll both like this. 🙂

  5. Could you halve a whole butternut squash and roast the halves and the scoop out the middle and add it to the soup like that? I have a whole butternut squash and am far too lazy to think about peeling and dicing it.

  6. Made this for dinner. Delicious!!! The cilantro and coconut add a nice little crunch to a very smooth and filling soup. The taste can’t be beat. I halved the recipe and it was perfect for two adults. Delicious with rolls or naan dipped in.

  7. This looks delicious, but I am really commenting to say…you should try the hand cream sold by Theraplex. THAT stuff has been life-changing for me and my constantly cracked-open, extremely hypersensitive, allergic-to-lanolin hands. Theraplex sells several creams, but the one I use on my hands is in a white tub. I get it at a local business run by a dermatologist, but I know it’s also available online. Thanks for all the good you do!

  8. I just made this soup for lunch today, as I miraculously had everything on hand… Loved it! I used Thai kitchen red curry paste and it wasn’t too spicy, but I think I only used a tablespoon and a half, eye-balled it! Thanks for this deliciously low fat recipe as, I am trying to lose the baby weight from just having a baby.

  9. I love plain greek yogurt with 2 packets of Truvia and blueberries and tons of cinnamon. I love cinnamon so its a ton 🙂

  10. Wow! I love curry and make it almost once a week. I normally use curry powder but had some of this paste left over so used it. This soup is super hot and spicey and I’m from Austin, TX and like moderately spicey food. I couldn’t eat it, it was so hot and didn’t even use the full amount of curry paste the recipe called for. I think this soup would be very delicious and will try it again but please be aware! 🙂

    1. What was spicy? Was your curry paste spicy? My soup was super mild until I added a little squirt of sriracha.

      1. OMG ours is sooooooo super spicy too! It must be the curry paste we have. And my husband loves spicy food and has a very high tolerance for it. Haha, I know we’ll eat it anyway.

        1. UPDATE: (haha) We tried to lessen the spiciness by adding four potatoes, a quart of milk with flour and bouillon, and it’s still really spicy. We are even serving it with rice. We figure our curry paste increased in spiciness over the year we’ve had it or it’s a super legit brand straight from Thailand…whatever the case, this soup is SPICY. Whatevs, my husband is obsessed all the same.

  11. I love fruits and veggies as a healthy snack. I love all the ideas given, I am always looking for something new.

  12. This sounds great! wonder if I could slide it by the meat-and-potatoes hubby if I made it for lunch?

    And I didn’t notice your hands, I was fascinated by the measuring spoons (My name is Wendy and I’m a kitchen gadget junkie…lol!)

  13. I am making this now–it seems like a lot of red curry paste–is that going to be like half the jar? Just wondering. Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Ha! Yeah, I went to visit my daughter’s kindergarten class and her teacher was working on a penguin project where the bodies of the penguins were the kids’ feet. She was painting their feet and stamping them and I wiped them off. 🙂

  14. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this soup. I heart butternut squash, curry and cooking light. I am also coveting your pot (le creuset?), just a little bit.

  15. Would acorn squash work? I have three of them sitting in my pantry and this soup looks delish!

    1. I really don’t know. Acorn squash is a little more stringy, but you could always give it a try! 🙂

  16. I made this soup yesterday, and just had a bowl of it for lunch. The sriracha & cilantro are a must, & I would suggest the curry haters give it a try. Red curry has such a different flavor than yellow curry, which is what I think most people think of when they see curry in a recipe. It is very satisfying for low WW points.

  17. Looks delicious! I’ve been on a coconut kick for the past several weeks. Have been thinking about making your amazing coconut chicken soup (love it!). But I might have to make this instead! 😉

  18. I LOVE butternut squash soup with curry! I can’t wait to try this one out – love that Thai flavor!

  19. Ate an hour ago, just finished reading this post and I HAVE to go to the store to get the squash. I MUST have this soup!!!

  20. Oh thank you thank you for posting all these recipes to use up the winter squash in my garage! Why grow them if you don’t eat them, right? About how many cups is 32 oz of squash? And, is curry powder anything like red curry paste?

    1. I like the flavor of red curry paste better than yellow curry powder (like McCormick); it’s milder. I’m not sure how I’d feel about 3+ tablespoons of yellow curry powder in one dish! 🙂

      1. Yellow curry powder is not the same thing as red curry paste at all. They are two completely different ingredients!!

  21. I almost didn’t read this post because curry isn’t really my thing, but I’m soooo glad I did because I got such a kick out of the picture of your dirty black fingernails!! SO funny. For a split second I was like EW! But then I knew there had to be a perfectly good explanation, so I was relieved to see it under the pic. Just don’t be surprised if this gets taken out of context and posted somewhere on the Internets. 🙂

  22. I have never seen Butternut squash in bags like that…..is that a Walmart item? Sams Club? Looks delicious and easy! Especially if you don’t have to cut up your squash 🙂

    1. I got these bags at Walmart, but I’ve seen packages where the cubes are bigger at Sam’s Club.

  23. This looks amazingly good and I can’t wait to try it. About how many cups would 36 oz be? My mom has a gazillion butternut squashes in her basement cold storage, so that’s where I’ll get my squash instead of the grocery store, and knowing how many cups would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. I’m GUESSING each of those bags is about 2 cups, so around 6-ish cups. Super scientific, right? 🙂

  24. I too have a carnivorous husband so I think this soup would be AWESOME to serve with some chicken satay and peanut butter dipping sauce… and yes, I realize that would blow the calorie count for the meal right up there but it sure would be tasty. = )

  25. I’m assuming you used LITE coconut milk and that the nutritional information corresponds to that. Just thought you should clarify in the printable as it makes a HUGE difference in the nutritional information, I’m sure. Trying to avoid 200 comments on the topic 🙂

    1. Thai Peanut Noodles are a family favorite here. In fact that’s what we are having tonight with some stir-fry veggies and pork mixed in.

      This soup sounds great, but I just made another butternut squash soup from your blog a few days ago. And I think my family is getting tired of all the soup we’ve been having lately. So for now this soup is going on my list to try some day.

  26. Girls, I love you especially this month! Thank you for all the healthy, yummy food! BTW, I also loved you when I made 5 different of your Christmas cookie recipes. So you see the fullness of my affection? And, I love butternut squash…and at least one of my sons does too. Thanks for real food as well as fun, special foods.

  27. I really wish I liked curry because this soup looks amazing! Were you making penguins? 🙂

    1. We WERE making penguins, hahaha! And I’m willing to bet you could leave out the curry paste and add a little fresh ginger and garlic to the onion and it would be equally delicious… 🙂