Friday, September 27, 2013

Curried Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

'Tis the season for all things orange.

The minute the weather turns cool I immediately start thinking butternut squash soup. I make it in loads every fall/winter and we can't get enough. I love the stuff.

I made a big pot of this last week and it was perfect for a few late work nights and pre-packed lunches. I felt like giving things a twist this time, so instead of making the usual recipe with cinnamon and nutmeg, I went with curry and cumin. I've made it with curry before, but not with all the other spices and the hot pepper. The flavor combo was fantastic. It was a little sweet, spicy and tangy all at once.

The ingredient list may look a little long, but if you invest in a few of these spices for your spice cabinet, you will use them over and over again, I promise! Ginger, curry, cumin and turmeric are staples in my spice rack and I use them everywhere, especially during the cold months. They just taste so warm.

As we were eating the soup I thought about swapping coconut milk for the cream and adding a sprinkling of toasted coconut on top next time I make this. Then today I saw Jessica from How Sweet It Is had the exact same idea with a Thai Butternut Squash Soup, and I start salivating as I looked at all the curry coconutty soup pictures. The next squash that lands in my grocery cart is destined for curry, coconut and peanuts.

And if you're feeling like you need a sandwich to accompany this bowl of deliciousness, might I suggest a smoked cheddar & green apple panini. (More melty cheese pics here). Yum.

Curried Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

Serves 6-8

1 medium butternut squash
2 large carrots
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. or 1 medium knob of fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp. yellow curry
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
6 cups water
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. sea salt
2 shakes crushed red pepper
Black pepper to taste
Splash of heavy cream
Chopped cilantro and Greek yogurt OR parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half, scoop out the sides and place on baking sheet. Peel carrots and cut into large chunks, and add to baking sheet. Bake vegetables for about 40 minutes, until tender. Once baked, scoop the squash from the flesh and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter and add onions. Cook over medium low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add fresh ginger, curry, turmeric and cumin and stir to combine; cook for 1 minute more until fragrant.

Add the cooked squash and carrots, then add 4 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up the squash. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth (if you don't have an immersion blender, puree it in a blender).

Add final 2 cups of water, ground ginger, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add splash of cream and stir.

Serve hot topped with fresh chopped cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt.


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