Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

5 from 4 votes
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Curried Butternut Squash Soup brings exotic Thai flavors to a healthy and aromatic twist traditional comfort food. This velvety smooth curried soup recipe will warm you from the inside out, plus it is naturally gluten free and vegan.

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup Recipe image with title

Originally published March 9, 2014. Updated with new photos and more helpful information about the recipe.

My family has always been pretty big meat and cheese eaters. Our staple dinners were often very similar to Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet. And even out vegetarian meals most certainly had dairy – pizza, grilled cheese, pierogies. Even spaghetti was usually covered with a mountain of parmesan.

So the first day of Lent, when we don’t eat meat and dairy, was always a little tricky for us. Seafood is allowed, but you’d never catch my mom cooking or eating something like, say, broiled salmon.

As I got older and learned more about cooking, I realized I didn’t have to stick to a diet of Pop Tarts, Jello, and bananas with peanut butter on those two days of the year. I started branching out, making shrimp stir fries, Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas for my pasta, and even Vegan Cauliflower Chili with Quinoa.

As well as vegan soups like this Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup recipe!

While many butternut squash soup recipes tend to be on the sweet side, with that sweetness only enhanced by adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, I’ve always preferred a more savory version. Whether I make my butternut soup with sage and thyme, or make a veggie-packed version of cheddar cheese soup, I don’t want mint to taste like pie.

But I had the idea for this spices and sassy version in my head for like a year and a half before I actually made it. Why I waited so long I’ll never know because now I want to keep eating it.

Closeup of Soup with lime, coconut, and peanut garnish

Thai Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Butternut squash simmered in coconut milk and pureed makes it rich and creamy, peanut butter also adds to the smooth, luxurious texture. Thai red curry paste brings in the exotic flavor and a bit of warmth. But the spice is not overwhelming since it is balanced by the natural sweetness of the squash.

A steaming bowl of this Curry Butternut Squash Soup is so satisfying and comforting. I know I’ll be making it over and over!

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

About the ingredients

Butternut squash

You’ll need one large butternut squash, about 3 pounds. This does not have to be exact as you can always add more water or broth to adjust the thickness of the soup depending on the size of your squash.

Do you have to peel butternut squash?

Yes, while newly harvested butternut squash can have tender skin, typically it is too tough and tender. In some recipes that call for roasted butternut squash, you can roast it in the skin and scrape out the flesh.

Thai red curry paste

Thai red curry paste is a blend of flavorful ingredients like chilis, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and spices that are blended to form a paste. You can make your own with a Thai red curry paste recipe, or you can buy it from a brand such as Thai Kitchen, which is gluten free.

Coconut milk

This is canned coconut milk not the kind from a carton. Light coconut milk works fine to save calories. Full fat coconut milk will make it richer and thicker, so you may need to add a little more liquid at the end.

Soy sauce or tamari

You can use your favorite soy sauce, but if you ned to make this gluten free, just be sure to use a brand that does not include wheat or use tamari. Coconut aminos would also work, but you may need an extra pinch of salt.

Other ingredients

The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples that you may already have in your kitchen.

  • Coconut or olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Water or vegetable broth
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime

Garnishes

Taking inspiration from the soup ingredients, you can set aside a little of the coconut milk and drizzle it on top, give it an extra squeeze of lime, or sprinkle on some shredded coconut or chopped peanuts for texture.

Hand taking a spoonful of Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Is butternut squash soup healthy?

Yes, butternut squash is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants for relatively few calories. It is loaded with Vitamins A and C, and that orange color is a great indicator that it has high levels of beta-carotene. The fiber and antioxidants also make this one of the best heart-healthy recipes. (source)

Plus this soup is naturally gluten free and vegan.

How do you thicken butternut squash soup?

One of the best things about butternut squash soup is that you don’t need anything else to thicken it. After you simmer the squash in whatever liquid you choose, it purees into a beautifully smooth texture.

I always recommend cooking it in a little less liquid, then adding more after you puree it so that you can get the texture you enjoy.

BRIANNE RECOMMENDS:

For pureeing the soup, you’ll need one of the following:

  • Immersion blender – also called a hand blender or stick blender, an immersion blender allows you to puree the soup right in the pot without transferring it to a blender. This makes it easier, with less mess to clean up.
  • Blender – you can use any blender you have, but for the smoothest, most silky soup, I love to use my Blendtec Designer 725. The Wildside+ Jar is nice and big, so you don’t have to blend it in batches, as you would with a smaller blender, and it gets perfectly smooth in seconds. You can even use the “Soup” setting to keep it hot while you blend it.  I am a Blendtec ambassador. Should you make any purchases through that link, I will receive a small commission. But that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 20% off. 
Curried Butternut Squash Soup swirled with coconut milk and garnished with grated coconut and chopped peanuts

Make it a meal

While this soup is rich and satisfying all on its own, you can always round out the meal by serving it with one of these dishes.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup served in a bowl with soup spoon

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More healthy soup recipes

Thai Butternut Squash Soup served in a bowl with soup spoon
5 from 4 votes

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Take the classic butternut squash soup and add exotic East Asian flavors for a new twist on a traditional comfort food.
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
  • half of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 13.5 oz. can coconut milk (you can use light)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth, or more if needed to adjust thickness
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • Additional coconut milk shredded unsweeted coconut, chopped peanuts, etc. for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  • In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and curry paste, and saute for another minute or two, until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  • Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to the pot, return to a simmer and stir in the vegetable broth or water, peanut butter, soy sauce or tamari, and the juice of one lime.
  • If thicker than you desire, add additional water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
Nutrition Facts
Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl (about 1 cup or 8 oz.))
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Sodium 450mg19%
Potassium 400mg11%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 11193IU224%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

59 Comments
  1. Nancy

    My son is allergic to peanuts. Do you think sunflower butter would work as a substitute??? This sounds fabulous and I can’t wait to make it!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Nancy,
      I’ve never used sunflower butter, but if it has the same consistency as peanut butter, it’s certainly worth a try. Good luck!

  2. Kimberly L.

    5 stars
    Very nice recipe, and quite tasty. I think it’s worth mentioning, however, that most store bought Thai curry pastes are not vegan… not even vegetarian. Many have shrimp paste in them, and vegans should seek out vegan brands, or make their own.

  3. Haha my mom is far from a picky eater, but one thing she won’t touch is curry. When we tell her we went to dinner and got Thai red curry for dinner we hear eww. She is convinced that all “curries” – Thai, Indian, everything have curry powder in them and therefore she hates them. One day we will change her mind…
    Your soup looks delicious. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  4. I love Thai food and this delicious soup is right up my alley 🙂 Love the butternut squash and can totally imagine the balance of flavors in this!

  5. I have a friend whose husband is Orthodox Catholic and they don’t eat meat or dairy for the whole 40 days. A few years ago she was in the hospital for surgery so a few of us volunteered to make meals for the family. Of course, it was lent! I know you won’t be surprised to hear how many vegetarian recipes include cheese, so that was a big challenge. But I persevered and found a few great recipes online – some I still make! – while researching what we could cook.

    I love the flavors of your delicious, creamy soup, Brianne, and there’s a butternut squash in my vegetable bin calling its name!

  6. I love just about anything with butternut squash. I’m not sure about curry, or anything too spicy. Is this very spicy? If it is, is there any way I can reduce the spice volume so that I can try it, it looks yummy. HUGS

    1. I actually started with 1-2 tablespoons of the curry paste and thought it needed more. You can always step it up, but Thai curry is not so much spicy as just very flavorful. Try adding a little at a time.

  7. So funny because my mom wouldn’t touch it either because of “Thai” and “curry”. That’s okay, it would be more for me. And what a beautiful color of this soup. It’s making me hungry just looking at it.

  8. It’s always so interesting to me to learn how different faiths observe Lent. Thanks for sharing that with us! Your soup looks heavenly to me. I make a similar soup with carrots, but butternut squash would be so much better. Pinning!!

  9. 5 stars
    As a Catholic, I will love enjoying this soup on Fridays during Lent. Anything with “Thai” in the name is guaranteed to be devoured by me . . . my second favorite cuisine after Italian! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks Shaina! Funny you say that, I think it’s easier to photograph vegetarian dishes since I usually have to wait till I have leftovers the next day, and meat doesn’t look so good then.

  10. So interesting to learn that dairy is given up for Lent by those of the Byzantine Catholic faith. That is a sacrifice!…Unless you’ve got someone’s special Thai Coconut Curry Soup =)

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