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Here comes everything we need right at this very moment: Spicy Butternut Squash Soup.

Spicy butternut squash soup with coconut milk in a white bowl

A great big bowl of healthy goodness, this easy butternut squash soup is major where you want it to be (taste, nutrition, all-around YES factor), and minor where you don’t (prep work, time, dishes).

  • It’s sweet and spicy. Heat from the Thai curry meets the natural sweetness of butternut squash, and the intersection is scrumptious.
  • Its warmth will soothe you on a chilly night (just like Pumpkin Soup!).
  • It’s fast, no need to roast or bake the squash. You can even speed up the recipe by using frozen butternut squash.
  • For those looking to eat more plant-based meals this year, this spicy butternut squash soup with coconut milk is vegan.
  • It is legitimately delicious. Both Ben and my neighbors immediately went back for seconds!
A white bowl of butternut squash soup with pepitas

How to Make Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

A wide range of spices pair well with butternut squash, including cinnamon, nutmeg, sage (see Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash), garlic, black pepper, oregano, thyme (see Butternut Squash Casserole), basil, cumin, and more.

For today’s recipe, I went for a spicy Thai butternut squash soup.

Thai cuisine, such as Chickpea Curry, Coconut Curry, and Thai Chicken Curry, is a masterpiece of sweet and spicy, making it an ideal avenue for playing up the natural sweetness of butternut squash.

This soup is multi-faceted. It uses all of my best ways to make butternut squash soup better: spices, healthy fats for satisfaction and richness, and a final splash of acid (I used rice vinegar) to make the flavors pop.


The Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash. This sweet and nutty veggie creates a delightfully flavorful and creamy soup. With oodles of vitamins and antioxidants, butternut squash is also highly nutritious.

Tip!

For helpful tips on how to cut butternut squash, see Roasted Butternut Squash.

  • Thai Red Curry Paste. Spicy and bold. Thai red curry paste is the key to this soup’s fabulous flavor.
  • Spices. Ground ginger brings the perfect combination of warm, sweet, and savory. I preferred it over fresh ginger in this soup. Cayenne takes the spiciness up another level.

Ingredient Note

Heads up: this spicy Thai butternut squash soup does pack some heat, thanks to the Thai red curry paste and cayenne.

If you’d like a milder soup, check out my Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup or Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.

  • Minced Garlic. A fantastic flavor builder.
  • Vegetable Broth. The soup’s flavorful liquid base. I kept this vegan by leaving out chicken broth or chicken stock,
  • Light Coconut Milk. I chose to make this spicy butternut squash soup with coconut milk. It adds richness, creaminess, and delicious coconut flavor.

SUBSTITUTION TIP

Some recipes around the web will use sour cream or half and half cream to get that creamy texture in this soup. Light coconut milk works just as well or even better!

  • Peanut Butter. Creamy peanut butter helps create a velvety texture and richly-flavored soup. It also packs oodles of protein into this soup.

Substitution Tip

You can swap the peanut butter for cashew butter or sun butter. You can also omit it altogether.

  • Rice Vinegar. Sweet and delicious. It adds the ideal amount of acidity.
  • Coconut Sugar. With a taste similar to brown sugar, coconut sugar adds the perfect amount of caramel-like sweetness.

The Directions

Chopped squash vegetables in a Dutch oven
  1. Heat the oil, in a large Dutch oven or similar large saucepan with a sturdy-bottom. Stir in the squash, onion, curry paste, and spices.
  2. Cook until the onion has softened.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic cloves.
Spicy butternut squash soup in a Dutch oven
  1. Add the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
A Dutch oven with ingredients for butternut squash soup
  1. Stir in the peanut butter, vinegar, and sugar.
Pureed squash vegetables in a Dutch oven
  1. Puree the soup.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro and pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds). ENJOY!

Dietary Note

To make this soup gluten free, make sure your rice vinegar is gluten free. If you cannot find a gluten free rice vinegar, you can swap it for apple cider vinegar in a pinch.

Easy spicy butternut squash soup with herbs

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, chop the butternut squash and onion. Refrigerate them separately in airtight storage containers until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Healthy, spicy butternut squash soup in a white bowl

What to Serve with Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

  • Dutch Oven. Perfect for making soups, stews, and more.
  • Immersion Blender. My choice for blending this butternut squash soup.
  • Ladle. The easiest tool for serving soups.

This easy spicy butternut squash soup has become one of our household’s cold night dinner greats.

I hope it earns the same status at your table soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use Instead of Coconut Sugar?

If you can’t find coconut sugar, you can swap it for an equal amount of light brown sugar or honey.

Is Butternut Squash Soup Bad for You?

This butternut squash soup is not bad for you. This recipe uses nutrient-dense vegetables, natural sweeteners, peanut butter, coconut milk, and spices to create bold flavor in a healthier way.

Can I Use Frozen Butternut Squash Cubes?

Absolutely! You can use frozen butternut squash cubes for this soup recipe. Let them thaw completely before beginning the recipe.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

4.86 from 14 votes
This Thai-inspired spicy butternut squash soup is a delicious blend of sweet and spicy. Thick, rich, and healthy, it's vegan and filling.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Servings: 4 servings (about 6 cups)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups ½-inch cubed butternut squash about 1, 2 1/2 pound butternut squash or 32 ounces pre-cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper use more for a spicier soup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter or cashew butter swap for sun butter or omit if there is an allergy
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar or light brown sugar or honey
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro or toasted pepitas

Instructions
 

  • In a large Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the squash, onion, curry paste, ginger, salt, and cayenne. Stir to combine and evenly coat the squash and onion with the spices.
  • Cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as needed so that the onion softens but does not turn brown.
  • Stir in the garlic. Let cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the broth and coconut milk. Bring the liquid boil, then partially cover the pot and let simmer until the squash is fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the peanut butter, rice vinegar, and coconut sugar. Let simmer gently and stir until the peanut butter is mostly smooth. Taste the soup (get a bit of butternut squash and a bit of the liquid). If you’d like it spicier, add more red curry paste and/or another pinch of cayenne.
  • With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Or working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. BE CAREFUL! Hot soup in blenders loves to splatter. Do not fill more than 2/3 the way to the top or your blender’s max fill line for hot liquids (if it has one). Return the soup to the pot and stir once more.
  • Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with cilantro and pepitas as desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate soup in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gPotassium: 627mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 16681IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 99mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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28 Comments

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  1. Hi Erin,
    Love your recipes. Can I use dry curry powder and if so, how much, instead of curry paste?
    Thank you. Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I’m unsure about the substitute. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Jessi! I’ve only tested this recipe as written. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  2. I used Japanese yams. I made my own curry paste from scratch. It was way too thick so I had to add some water at the end. Wonderful flavor profile.

  3. Outstanding flavors ! Our grocer was out of both curry paste & curry powder so I used a 10oz package of Tai Red Curry sauce .
    Nice touch with peanut butter !! Dan5 stars

  4. Do you immersion blend in your (pictured) dutch oven? I’m worried about damaging the enamel coating on mine.

    1. Hi Allison! I can only speak for my dutch oven. I’ve never had a problem with the immersion blender causing any damage due to the blade not actually touch any part of the pot.

  5. Your soup is simmering on my stove as I write this. But I just realized I have no coconut milk! Can you recommend a substitute? Many thanks!

      1. Thanks for your response Erin. The soup was delicious! I ended up using oatmilk because that’s what I had on hand and it worked perfectly well – creamy with no oat taste because of all the other delicious flavours in the soup. I’ll be making this recipe regularly. Many thanks!5 stars

  6. I’ve made your crockpot butternut squash soup several times (delicious!) so I tried this one tonight for something different. I used frozen squash and natural creamy pb, following the recipe as written. The combination of flavors is rich and warm. The coconut milk and peanut butter lend a classic Thai taste to the squash. Thank you!5 stars

  7. Best butternut soup recipe I have made (and I tried three other recipes first). The first time I made it his recipe, I added quite a bit of extra cayenne because it didn’t seem spicy enough initially. It seemed to get spicier and spicier over time until it was way to hot. Second time I made it I used just 3/8 tsp cayenne total. Perfect!5 stars

  8. I don’t usually get excited about squash soups, but I love this recipe. I’m currently making it for the second time in three days, and I’ve already shared the recipe with friends. The spice and peanut butter add complexity and keep the soup from being cloyingly sweet. The pepita garnish adds a nice texture. I might finish today’s batch with a cheeky hit of lime juice.5 stars

  9. Hi Erin,
    I’m making your soup right now! Was going to make the triple but I didn’t catch the need for (3) 2 & 1/2 butternut squashes. While the number of cups increases the number of butternuts doesn’t. It appears that your increased recipe builder doesn’t increase that number.

    It is rare to find a nonsweet type (or less sweet) butternut soup recipe so I am really looking forward to yours. I will be using cashew butter. Can’t wait until dinner tonight! Also, this is my first recipe of your :-)

    1. Hi Nina, you are correct the words in italics doesn’t change but the amount is cups updates so definitely follow that. Hope you enjoyed it!

  10. Excellent flavor! This is a keeper in our house, we love Thai flavors and spiciness too. Note: simmered for 7-10 minutes longer, probably due to our high altitude (1 mile).5 stars