Thai Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

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I have a bit of a problem. I don’t think it requires a twelve step intervention, but still, it complicates my life sometimes. I really can’t pass up a good sale at the supermarket. Laugh, giggle and find general amusement at my predicament all you like, but don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile with my grocery cart and have 4 butternut and 6 acorn squash in your refrigerator.

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This penchant for purchasing well priced produce doesn’t seem to extend to other areas of my life as a consumer. I love a good sale on bathroom tissue as much as the next person (especially since my family seems to go through bathroom tissue faster than a calf goes through milk), but I don’t have 10 cases I bought on sale sitting around waiting to be called to a higher purpose.

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But if I see a sale on something edible, I tend to buy first and think later. Sometimes this produces great results, like the key lime pie I made when key limes were on sale. But it also led to the sausage crisis in my freezer that I’m still digging my way out of, and I have 2 jars each of roasted red peppers and tahini in my pantry that are languishing away after I had a roasted red pepper and tahini mental creativity block and gave up trying to find ways to cook with them.

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Now about those squash….

I firmly believe that inspiration for a great recipe can come from absolutely anywhere, and since I’m almost always right, you can pretty much take my word for that. But if you need some convincing, I offer you the story of the Thai Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup recipe.

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Once upon a time last weekend, I was busily searching for some kind of recipe or inspiration for the abundance of squash I have impulsively saddled myself with, when my children decided that they absolutely had to sit next to me and play the “Ask mommy 10,000 questions we don’t really care about the answers to because we are bored and it’s raining” game. So I sent them on a Google mission to find me a fun recipe for butternut squash. After the veggie in question was produced for their inspection and familiarization, off they went, and all was again peaceful in my house. For about 3 minutes.

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“Mommy, how ‘bout this recipe?” my eldest daughter shouted from the basement. “Well, I can’t really see it from up here, honey.” I replied. “Mama! I found a recipe!” my youngest bellowed, “Can I show you?” My youngest daughter calls me Mama.  I don’t know why, and I haven’t been brave enough to ask her. “Ok girls, bring me your recipes” I said, closing my laptop, magazines and cookbooks, determined to get back to my hunt for the perfect squash recipe just as soon as it stopped raining and I could kick the kids out have the children play outside and get some fresh air.

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And so they brought up the reams of paper they had printed out, and I dutifully ooo’d and ahhh’d as required by my mommy contract. Then I found a hidden treasure, a recipe for Thai-Style Butternut Squash Soup from an unlikely source: Walt Disney. To be more specific, it was on the Disney website, in the food section. Go figure.

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After a recipe revamp and a trip to the Asian market, I cooked up this rich and creamy, mildly spicy, slightly sweet and tart butternut squash soup. I probably could have eaten the whole pot, but I had to save some for the pictures, and maybe a bowl or two for the children. They did find the recipe after all. It was only fair.

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Thai Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Disney

1 large butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 tbsp oil, I use grapeseed
¼ cup onion, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp Thai Red Curry paste, more if you like it hotter
6 kaffir lime leaves, middle vein removed and torn into pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1 13-14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)

Preheat over to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the cut sides of the squash with oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until very tender. The squash should have a creamy texture. Once the squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the peel using a spoon.

In an heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for a few more minutes. The curry will start to give off a wonderful aroma. Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk, salt, squash and shredded lime leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Puree soup with a hand mixer or in a blender.  Serve garnished with unsweetened coconut toasted at 400°F for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Printable Recipe

52 comments to Thai Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

  • I love butternut squash and use it often though I have not tried it with Asian flavors. It’s very appealing and the toasted coconut is just the right finish.

  • Your pictures are wonderful! I love butternut squash. This really sounds good!

  • your photo really portraits the intense flavor for your soup!

  • Ashley Paige

    I can’t wait to try this! I love butternut squash & I love red curry paste, but wouldn’t have thought to put them together. Another great use for butternut squash–in risotto. Yum. Just in case you need more ideas.

  • This looks amazing- similar to a soup I made recently. I love that it’s soup season! Curry seems to go well with squash soups. Great recipe.

  • This recipe looks absolutely delicious! Nice pictures that entice and cause the salivary glands to start out!

  • Great post! Again, love your writing style. First of all, you’re preaching to the choir when it comes to food sales. I’m a stock piler, and I may need that intervention. I’ve now had to purchase additional shelves for the basement for my kitchen over flow.

    Great pictures. Who knew that Disney had recipes. Geez what will they do next?

    This recipe sounds wonderful. I love soups like this and love the Thai influence and especially the curry. As soon as we can dig out of this snow storm, I’ll buy what I need and give it a try. (23 inches in the back yard and in another hour I’ll be able to say we have 2 feet of snow) 🙂

  • I am a sale junkie as well. I am on my third freezer in my life, and I replace each one because I run out of room and want another. Eat like a king for pauper’s wages is my motto.

  • This butternut squash soup with curry & coconut flavors sound absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to try this!

  • This will work. I have made pumpkin curry before. beautiful vegetarian dish 😉

  • Karen

    Joan Nova: Thanks! It works surprisingly well with the asian flavors.

    Kristin Rimkus: Glad you like it.

    lululu: Thanks you 🙂

    Ashley Paige: Thanks for the suggestion, I need all I can get. I still have squash in my refrigerator!

    lisa @ dandysugar: I love soup season too 🙂

    Noelle: Thanks!

    Lea Ann: I have no pantry at all in my kitchen, but I have three extra large, industrial strength shelf units in my basement. And a second refrigerator. Um, and a stand up freezer. It actually sounds worse when I type it out 😉

    Year on the Grill: That is an excellent motto. I think I’ll borrow it 😀

    Natasha: I hope you do. It really was very good. I need to make more. Soon. Very soon.

    penny aka jeroxie: Since this worked so well, I’d like to play around with some different curries and squashes. Maybe Indian curry.

    Half Assed Kitchen: You are most welcome 🙂

  • mmmmm delicious warming bowl of soup! I love it

  • “penchant for purchasing well priced produce…”
    gah, i do love alliteration. 🙂
    terrific soup! that coconut sprinkled on top is the kicker for me, and hey–hooray for unexpected sources!

  • hey lovely dishes you make , fascinating

  • Would you like to contribute this post to Foodshots, an online collaborative arts project that showcases the very best in food blogging? You can read more about it here.

    Please send me an email to foodshots [dot] fs [at] googlemail [dot] com if you would like me to add your post to the Foodshots collection.

  • Mary

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome!! I only had yellow curry paste on hand but it still was delicious.

  • Thanks for posting this one! I’ve been wanting to do something with butternut squash, and the hubs is always nagging me to use more curry powder…I think this recipe could be a match made in Heaven. Thanks again!

  • Shannon

    I am making this right now!!!!!! I can’t wait to eat it. Fantastic blog…..More vegetarian recipes as main course please?

    • Karen

      We try to have at least one vegetarian meal a week, so I can definitely work on getting more recipes that are meat free up on the site 🙂

  • we dont get squash here easily but i want to try out the dish

  • Harmonie

    I can’t wait to try this! I had no idea what I was going to do with this squash, until I came across some unopened coconut milk in the fridge 😉 Here’s to cold weather & warm soup, cheers!

  • Anya

    #1- this recipe looks amazing- I am making it tonight
    #2- you are hilarious, and as a first time reader of your blog, I have now added you to my favorites 🙂
    #3- there isn’t one, but I like the number

  • happysnacker

    Awesome recipie. Thanks for the post
    You could make hummus with the tahini or halva.
    both super yummy!

  • thanks for the inspiration, this is such a great soup! 🙂 btw, I’ve replaced the kaffir lime leaves (that are impossible to source in Romania) with shredded lime zest. I’ve also added two tbsp of coarsely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and I’ve served it with croutons of crispy papadums (Indian crisps)

  • I made this soup for my husband and daughter, both have sophisticated taste and love Thai foods. It was the perfect combo of savory and sweet.

  • I found your site from the Food Bloggers Unite post on taking pictures at night. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your lighting set up! I got a lightbox for Christmas but the shadows are so harsh. I’m off to Home Depot to get me some clamp lights.

    I’m also glad to have found your blog because I love your style, and this soup sounds delicious. Huge fan of butternut squash. I recently made a roasted butternut squash soup with apples, chili powder and a touch of cinnamon. I’ll have to try yours next!

  • Dy

    Im making this tonight. I cant wait to try it!

  • Mara

    I know this is an older post but cheap squash season is upon us again. So, I make a version of this soup that is a bit different but amazing.

    -I don’t use lime
    -I steam instead of roast the squash

    The shrimp is just succulent with the coconut flavor, and I am certain I will try some lime zest and toasted coconut in the soup the next time I make it- and I will also try the roasted flavor. Try serving with some jasmine white rice as well. YUM!

    Also, an idea for squash I got at a yoga retreat:

    roasted squash cubes with dusting of cinnamon/nutmeg/maple syrup
    baby arugula/rocket salad
    goat cheese
    toasted pine nuts

    dressing: blend some arugula with plain yogurt and paprika to desired consistency

    This is the best salad I have ever had in my life.

  • Michele Fouts

    Thanks for the inspiration! This is the first time I have seen this site. I made this tonight and used your recipe as a rough guide. I love delicata squash so used that with panang curry paste and threw in some carrots to roast since I had them. I did not have kaffir lime leaves so I squeezed fresh lime juice at the end. I also added a hint of maple syrup and some fish sauce…all together it was fabulous!

  • Heki

    This is a great recipe, it’s great with pumpkin too.
    About your tahini and roasted red peppers (if you still have them): have you tried making roasted red pepper hummus? It’s not hard at all.

  • Krystal

    absolutely amazing! thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, my whole family loved it!! 🙂

  • Curious

    The recipe looks great, I shall definitely try it!

    Also, I am curious to know why the term “mama” appears to have a negative connotation to you and why you feel the need, yet appear to be afraid,to ask your youngest daughter why she prefers that term of endearment….?

    • Karen

      Because the only place I know of where she could have picked it up was a cartoon she used to watch in Canada called Johnny Bravo. The lead character would say “mama” with a distinct “Elvis” accent. If this is the case, I would rather not know that my daughter’s word for me comes from an animated character on TV 🙂 My eldest daughter just calls me mom.

      • No Longer Curious

        Elvis accent, eh? I can see why the concern! At least it is better that that influence came from there and not “Stewie” from “Family Guy” (definitely would not want young children influenced by that show) Lol! Thank you so much for indulging my side-note curiosity! ; – )

  • Debbie Twombly

    Has anyone figured out the Weight Watcher’s point value of this soup??? It sounds great and I’m going to make it this week!

  • Lani

    We love Thai food. My hubby likes ordering this kind of soup @ JJ Thai in Mississauga, Ontario. A week ago, I thought I should tried this recipe, I was browsing for one and this one came across. I could say it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. I will make it again next week. The taste is perfect! I added some cilantro as garnish. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe *.*

  • Lisa Harlow

    Sorry to hear you have tahini languishing. It’s great as a salad. It’s delish dressing for spinach salads. Just mix with lemon juice, garlic, tamari and enough water to make it the right consistency. It really tasty! Or you can make baba ganoush, a million different tupes of hommous, or halva for the kids. Recipes are all on line.

  • KK1

    can I roast the frozen squash for this recipe?

    • Karen

      Frozen squash is pre-blanched, so you can try just boiling until tender. Roasting it may make it dry out and get rubbery.

  • KK1

    thanks for the prompt reply.. I’ll give it a try tonight and let u know how it comes out..pls visit my blog sometime..

  • Theresa

    This soup is wonderful (and easy enough for a college student to make). Thanks!

  • RJ

    This might be one of the best soups I’ve ever tasted. I used half fat coconut milk and I use the zest of one lime rather than the lime leaves. But oh my goodness if I was stranded on a desert island and could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it might just be this soup! Thank you for the recipe!!!!

  • Great recipe, thanks. The sweetness of the squash really sets off the Thai flavours.

  • Bobbi

    I make and sell all kinds of soups at our local Farmer’s Market in the Puerto Vallarta area and this soup was such a huge hit 2 weeks ago I’m making it again for this weeks market. It sold out so fast that those who didn’t make it in time were almost in tears! This week though I am using sweet potato’s and hope it is every bit as good. LOVE the flavors and the texture.

  • Bobbi

    I made this for a Farmer’s Market where I sell Gourmet Soups and it was a HUGE hit!

  • Just_me

    I have made this numerous times. SO GOOD. This weekend I will be making a huge pot to pressure can for special Christmas baskets.

  • Jenny

    I CANNOT WAIT TO MAKE THIS!!! Had a Thai Butternut soup at a local hole-in-the-wall diner recently and have been looking for a recipe ever since. Looks like this will be pretty darn close to what I had. Sounds absolutely delicious!

  • Pam

    This recipe has now become a wonderful addition to our eclectic Thanksgiving. It also finds its way onto our table many times throughout the fall and winter seasons. So, so delicious! Thanks for sharing it.

  • nhdad

    Love the recipe & variants on the theme. When I do it I add a Thai fish sauce & cilantro but I am known to throw everything at each of my recipes, making the dish the be-all-end-all rather than part of a meal with a mixture of flavors, distinct from other dishes. This recipe is guaranteed to please.

  • Roses8

    This soup was so delicious! I made 2 changes, 1. I added lime zest instead kaffir lime leaves and I used red curry powder one teaspoon instead of the paste. It was so delicious! My husband thought so too!

  • Jessie

    This recipe has changed my winter life. Of course, to be honest I make it year round as well. It is warm and sweet, savory with a kick. The colour and consistency are a treat for the eyes, taste-buds, and throat. People have been asking for the recipe for two years.

    The only changes I make are that I add more onion, ginger, garlic and curry paste. I have gotten so comfortable with the recipe that I often just make it with out any measuring tools. It has subtle differences each time which always encourages me to add more or less of some ingredient.

    My friends and family all thank you for this recipe, as do I.