Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Coming from a country with such an impressive cuisine as Turkey, you wouldn’t think that my gastronomical curiosity was only awakened when I moved to the US for college. Oh but it’s true. And my most vivid culinary experience from those early fresh-off-the-boat years was definitely Indian food. All those spices and exploding aromas seduced me instantly, although for a long time I was intimidated by trying to re-create those flavors at home.

Fast forward to today, when my kitchen is finally stocked with all those spices, each of which brings such a distinctive personality to a dish. But while I love having this diversity at my fingertips, I find that there are only a handful of spices that I use on a regular basis. So here are my all-stars: cumin seeds, turmeric and the spice mix garam masala powder (which I often buy ready-made at an ethnic food shop since I don’t often get around to making my own although that is so much better). And of course no curry is complete without a base of fresh garlic and ginger (stay tuned for my upcoming kitchen tip on how to prepare this part ahead).

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good curry is also one of the simplest: a soup of winter squash. Some of my favorites are potimarron (chestnut squash), pumpkin and butternut. I love that you can find butternut squash easily here in Paris and that the French call it by its English name (it’s a shame I can’t do the pronunciation justice in writing!). Of course this butternut squash soup is not distinctly Indian but it’s something I’ve concocted over the years inspired by my spice collection.
 Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
I love making a soup like this on the weekend and having it in the fridge or freezer for busy week nights. The ginger provides some nice heat which is so welcome during these long days of winter. Also, please don’t be intimidated if you don’t have all the spices on hand as this kind of dish is always very forgiving and just begs to be experimented with depending on your personal preferences. So go ahead, try it this weekend!
Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, coconut ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2-cm nub of fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 medium butternut, cut up into 4-cm chunks (peeling is optional since the skin melts away during cooking)
  • 1 400-milliliter can coconut milk OR 200 grams coconut cream
  • 1 liter homemade chicken broth (or half broth, half filtered water), or enough to cover the vegetables
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat the fat in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and keep stirring, until they start releasing their aroma.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring regularly to make sure they don't burn. Add the powdered spices, sea salt and pepper. You can deglaze with a bit of liquid if necessary.
  3. Add the butternut squash, stirring well to coat them with the curry base. Let them cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the liquid and the coconut milk or cream, bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Simmer until the vegetables are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  5. Let the soup cool, and then mix with an immersion blender, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve piping hot with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.

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