This Ginger-Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup recipe comes out silky smooth, with a beautiful yellow color. The coconut milk and spices turn simple squash into something exotic that is sure to impress.
I first made this soup at a friend's house, when I rescued a poor butternut squash that was showing the first signs of weepiness and was about to hit the compost pile.
She was taken back about how quickly this came together and how flavorful this soup was.
While it can seem intimidating to make, it is really quite easy: I've outlined all the steps for you below.
Health benefits of Ginger and Turmeric
In case you didn't know, ginger and turmeric are MFEO (that's Made For Each Other in "Sleepless in Seattle" speak).
Beyond that, they're superfoods.
Ginger tea is great for colds and upset tummies. The root contains a substance called gingerol, which is chemically related to capsaicin (the stuff that makes peppers hot).
No worries: this is not a spicy soup.
Research shows that this compound is anti-inflammatory because it blocks some molecules, naturally secreted by your immune system, that promote inflammation.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is not only believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, but also antioxidative effects.
Long story short, ginger and turmeric are healthy eats.
Ingredients for Ginger-Turmeric Butternut Squash soup
The soup requires only a handful of items:
- Butternut Squash (Duh)
- Olive oil
- Fresh ginger root
- Ground Turmeric
- Coconut milk
- Carrots and Shallots
- Salt and pepper
How to make Ginger-Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
Pre-cook the butternut squash
Since this is Flipped-Out Food and we are about time saving hacks, I prefer to use the microwave in lieu of roasting the squash.
It shortens the cooking time significantly without any sacrifice to flavor.
How to cook butternut squash in the microwave
I stab the squash in several places, put it on a microwave-safe plate, and nuke for 8-10 minutes.
During this time, listen carefully, because squealing sounds indicate that the squash is close to done and about to blow up.
Don't worry: I've done it a few times.
The worst thing that happens is a loud boom—and, unfortunately, a ginormous mess to clean out of the microwave.
A large squash can generally be nuked for 10 minutes—but I always check at the 8 minute mark for exactly this reason.
Once done, carefully remove the squash from microwave and let cool for 5 minutes.
Clean it out by cutting the top off and then slicing it in half lengthwise.
Then, scoop out the seeds and slimy guts.
Next, scoop out the now-soft flesh from inside the squash and cut it up into roughly 1-inch pieces.
Prepping the remaining veggies
While the squash is in the microwave, I like to prep the other ingredients.
This involves peeling and mincing the ginger, grating carrots, and mincing shallots.
Why grate the carrots? We want a silky smooth soup, but carrots take forever to soften up—so I grate them to accelerate the cooking process.
Add everything to the pot
Add the cut up squash, ginger, shallots and carrots and saute in olive oil until softened.
Use fairly low heat so that you're essentially sweating the vegetables until they're really soft, but not caramelized at all.
Next, add the turmeric and sauté for just a minute or so until the spice becomes fragrant.
Then, add the coconut milk and salt.
Let the soup simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until all the ingredients are very soft and ready for blending.
Puréeing the Ginger-Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
My favorite pureeing method is using an immersion blender.
To get it really silky, while simultaneously avoiding squirts of hot soup, I ladle small batches of the soup into a steep-sided storage containers.
Then I buzz with the immersion blender until completely smooth.
The advantage with this is that you can easily store any extras in the fridge or freezer.
You can, of course, just use the immersion blender in your pot of soup. Or, use a blender or food processor for this task.
Just make sure to be careful with the hot soup (Bon Appétit has a great piece on avoiding blending disasters here).
Once the soup has been thoroughly blended, you are ready to serve.
And that's it!
This soup would make a lovely appetizer for a holiday dinner: it's fun to serve "soup shots" by portioning blended soups into shot glasses.
About those holiday dinners: if you're planning to host a holiday dinner party, hop over and take a look at my Work-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Plan (which works for any holiday dinner)!
- 1.5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil*
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 4 baby carrots, grated
- 1.5- inch cube ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
- 2 14- oz. cans coconut milk, shaken
- Using a paring knife, stab the squash in several places. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 8 minutes. Pay close attention and listen for squealing sounds (especially after 5 minutes): these indicate that the squash is about to explode. In this event, turn off the microwave and let the squash sit for a minute or two. Then resume microwaving (and listening carefully), up to 10 minutes or until the squash is very soft.
- Add the olive oil* to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots, carrots, and ginger. Reduce heat to medium-low and sweat the vegetables until soft but not caramelized, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the butternut squash. Cut the top off and slice the squash in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the seeds and fibrous innards from the cavity. Discard. Scoop the flesh out of the skin of the squash and cut into ~1-inch pieces. Add it to the vegetables in the pot; continue sweating for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the turmeric and sauté for just a minute or so until the spice becomes fragrant. Add the coconut milk and salt. Simmer the soup over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to carefully purée the hot soup until silky smooth. Serve and enjoy.
*If you are cooking oil-free, substitute ¼ cup of vegetable broth or water for the oil, adding additional water as needed until the vegetables are softened.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl (about 2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g