spicy vegan butternut squash soup

by Stacy

Finally, a sure sign of fall in San Diego.

fall in san diego

We don’t get dramatic colored leaves or crisp air, but the return of rain to the desert means enough cloud cover to keep the temperature low enough to get out sweaters and soup pots.

I’m really excited to be leading a mindful eating workshop tonight in San Diego, but it’s taken time to pull together. A full schedule crossed with a detox diet doesn’t exactly lend itself to scintillating blog fodder.

Although, after a sullen encounter with my spouse over vinaigrette last week, perhaps a post on salad dressing would not be out of place.

spicy butternut squash soup

But today I whipped up this detox-friendly hearty vegan soup in less than 20 minutes. It’s zingy and warming and sticks to your ribs without being heavy. Prime your digestion with a nice raw salad while the soup simmers, then wrap yourself in a delicious cup of cozy soup.

The added dampness of a rainy day inspired She Who Is Always Cold to add emphatic amounts of spices to this soup. The proportions in the recipe reflect reasonable amounts, so taste and add more if needed. The ingredient list only looks long because of the various spices.

spicy butternut squash soup

A bright and attractive garnish for this would be cilantro or even basil, but some people may have misjudged how long the cilantro had been in their fridge and were not willing to brave San Diegans careening around in the rain, risking life and limb, just for garnish. Sorry!

After a week of smoothies and salads I wanted a denser puree, but feel free to thin the base with more water or stock, or something creamy like half-and-half or coconut milk.

Other soups on my mind: lentil stew (when my parents made this soup, you could smell it outside the house), vegetarian chili, and simple-yet-elegant sweet potato bisque.

What fall soups are you looking forward to?

print recipe
Spicy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
This zesty soup is hearty and warm without weighing you down. Perfect for a rainy day.

Feel free to roast your own butternut squash that day or in advance. I had a bag of diced squash in the freezer which made it a great quick lunch.

For vegetable stock, I use Rapunzel boullion cubes or Better Than Boullion organic vegetable stock base.

  • 1-10 ounce bag frozen butternut squash
  • half a medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • a dash ground cinnamon
  • a pinch red chili flakes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice of half a lime
  • to taste black pepper
  • (optional) cream, half-and-half, coconut milk, or soy milk
1.) Heat a lidded pan over medium heat. Toss frozen squash in the pan, add 2 tablespoons of water, and cover. Let thaw 3-5 minutes.2.) Dice the onion. Add olive oil to the pan. When hot, add onion. Stir to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes until onion starts to look translucent.3.) Add ginger and spices. Stir and cook 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Add a bit more water if needed.4.) Add lime juice. Puree using a stick blender or carefully in batches using a blender. Thin with milk (dairy or non-dairy) if desired. If you have a light-colored plastic immersion blender, wash it immediately to prevent the turmeric from staining. 5.) Serve topped with cracked black pepper and a garnish of cilantro of basil if desired.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

birch October 6, 2011 at 4:17 am

That first pic looks like pictures I’ve been taking all week…. through the microscope. I was very confused. Unfortunately, cannot share work pics.


Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples October 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

This looks delicious! I love soup season… almost more for the leftovers than for the first night it’s cooked. I’ll have to try this one!
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Mom October 9, 2011 at 7:27 am

You should say about the lentil soup that it was the tablespoon of GARLIC powder that meant you could smell it outside the house!


Ivy October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

This recipe is a wow. I roasted my own squash with some cinnamon, salt and pepper until it was caramelized. At the end, I added a can of light coconut milk and pureed well. This is one of the best and most original butternut squash soup recipes I’ve tried, vegan or not vegan!


Stacy October 5, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thanks, Ivy! So glad you enjoyed it.


petit4chocolatier November 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

Beautifully Delicious! Your pictures are gorgeous : )


Stacy November 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thank you!


emily November 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

Can you tell me how many average sized butternut squash going into a “bag”? If we don’t happen to have a bag of frozen squash chilling in our freezer…


Stacy November 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Hi Emily,

It’s a 10 ounce bag of squash, so if your squash is about a pound (give or take a few ounces) I would imagine that would yield the right amount. Happy soup making!


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