Butternut Squash Soup with Lemongrass, Ginger, Chilis and Coconut Milk

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I know what you are thinking. “Not another butternut squash soup recipe.”  Yes, another butternut squash soup recipe.  Soup seems to be a popular thing to make with butternut squash.  It seems like everybody is making it these days. It is a classic warming winter soup  for good reason. It is absolutely delicious.  I know that I posted a butternut squash soup recipe before Christmas, but I felt that this one was different enough to share.  The last one was roasted butternut squash and parsnip.

The main similarity between the two recipes, other than the fact that they both have butternut squash in them, is that I roasted the butternut squash for both of them.  I love the added depth of flavour that roasting brings to the soup.

The spices used in this soup are similar to those used in some thai curries.  Lemongrass, ginger, red chili peppers, even cumin and of course coconut milk.  This makes for an incredibly flavourful soup.  The roasted squash brings a  sweetness which is balanced with the fire from the chili peppers.  Then, add the kick of lemongrass and ginger.  Oh baby! With the amazing taste of coconut milk to pull it all together.

I served this soup on New Year’s Eve for a group of friends that came over for dinner.  I wasn’t the only one who thought this soup was great.  Everybody seemed to really enjoy.  Of course my friend Dave had to have his 2 cents.  As everyone is raving about the soup Dave chimes in “whoa, whoa, relax everybody it’s just soup.  If the main course is good then we can give him some credit.”  Needless to say, Dave loved the soup, he just likes joking around.

When you are having people for dinner, soup is great as a starter, because you can make it the day before.  Having several courses at a dinner party can be tough to manage, especially if you are making it mostly alone as I was.  We were 8 people in total, which isn’t a huge number, but more than enough when making a 4 course sit down meal.  I made this soup the day before which was key.  There was no way I would have managed to do everything on the day of  the party, considering I also went to a  yoga class, and out to lunch with really good friends.  Thankfully one of my dinner guests came over early to help me put the rest of the meal together.

I always peel butternut squash with my zyliss soft skin peeler, that I absolutely love.  The peeler is actually designed for fruit with soft skin, hence the name.  Who would have guessed? Either way, it works great for peeling butternut squash and all vegetables.  I highly recommend it.  Some people roast butternut squash with the skin still on but I prefer getting rid of the skin right from the get go.

The other thing you will have to contend with when preparing your butternut squash are the seeds.  Whatever you do, don’t throw them away.  They are delicious when roasted.  Scoop them out with a spoon and separate them from all the stringy stuff.  Check out the post and recipe for roasted butternut squash seeds I did a while back.  I served them in a bowl on the table for New Year’s Eve dinner so when I served the soup people could add them to the soup as a crunchy garnish.  Just an idea for you.  They are great on their own as snacks as well.

What are your go to healthy dishes to serve for a dinner party or a large group of people?  Any tips and tricks you care to share with us would be great.  Enjoy the soup.

Butternut Squash Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

serves 10 if serving as a starter 

1.5 kg of peeled butternut squash, cut in chunks
3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups chopped onions (1 large onion)
2 cups chopped carrots (3 medium carrots)
2 large celery ribs, chopped
1 large lemongrass stalk, outer layers removed, and finely chopped
2 dried red chili peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 cups of water
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

chopped cilantro for garnish
roasted butternut squash seeds for garnish


Preheat oven to 425F.

Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix with the chunks of butternut squash so that they are lightly coated in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the squash onto a large baking sheet or 2 if needed.

Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking, until soft and golden brown.

15 minutes before the squash is finished roasting, in a large stock pot, on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and the cumin seeds. Cook for about a minute. Then add the onions, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 8-10 minutes. Add the lemongrass, ginger and garlic and chili peppers. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Remove the butternut squash from the oven and add to the stock pot with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree with an immersion or upright blender.

Return to a low heat and stir in the coconut milk. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve in bowls and garnish with cilantro and the roasted butternut squash seeds.

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