Coconut squash soup is such a comforting, hearty meal, rich with colour, flavour. Mine uses turmeric and ginger as a light curry flavour base, with a touch of cayenne for subtle heat. It happens to be vegan.
It might seem like a pain in the butt to cook coconut squash soup for lunch, however delicious it sounds, because cooking the squash itself is annoying. This hard winter veg takes a long time to soften. The skin is difficult to peel. And frankly, hacking at a roly-poly rock-hard veg is terrifying. I have solutions to all of these things! First of all, you could swap in frozen, cubed squash and simmer it in the coconut milk until hot. Or swap in canned pumpkin (still technically a winter squash). But if you’re sticking to the produce aisle, use these tips.
The easiest way to cut and cook a squash.
My favourite, easy way to cook a squash is whole, with the skin on. Cooking it this way means the skin will be loose and easy to remove, and the flesh will be tender and easy to chop.
I like to roast for the next day while the oven is already in use making dinner, or I’ll bake it while I’m cleaning the kitchen at night. At 400ºF, a small acorn squash will take about 45 minutes, while a large butternut could take 2 hours (I tend to cut in half to speed things up once it’s started to soften, at about the one-hour mark).
Roasting caramelizes the squashes natural sugars, coaxing out lots of complex sweet, nuttiness. It’s the best option for flavour. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can scoop out the flesh, or pop it straight in the fridge.
Or, you could opt for the quick method!
How to cook a squash in the microwave.
Place the squash in a microwave-save dish (to catch the drips) and prick it all over with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. Microwave it on high power in 2-5 minute intervals until soft, flipping and rotating a few times.
A small acorn squash may only take 6 minutes to cook, while a large butternut squash might take 12-15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to pierce the squash all the way to the centre to make sure it’s tender all the way through.
How to make coconut squash soup.
We start with a base of onions softened in oil, add some fresh-grated ginger, and a pinch of turmeric and cayenne. In goes the gourd, along with some coconut milk. When everything comes to a simmer, you can call it done or blend it.
I used small acorn squashes this time, but you could use any winter squash, like butternut, hubbard or kobacha.
This recipe yields about 3 1/2 cups of coconut squash soup. That’s roughly 4 appetizer-sized portions, lunch (with bread or a sandwich on the side) for two people, or lunch on its own for one hungry and/or greedy person (whoops!).
See notes in recipe on how to stretch it further, lighten it up or yield a thinner consistency.
There are many ways to serve and enhance the flavors of this coconut squash soup. One simple way is to top the soup with fresh cilantro leaves, sliced red chilies, and/or toasted coconut flakes. These toppings add a pop of color, a touch of heat, and a nutty crunch to the soup.
To make the meal more satisfying, consider serving the soup with some crusty bread. Toasted oatmeal brown bread, homemade artisan bread, or delicious semolina bread are all great options that pair well with the soup. The bread can be used to soak up the soup or simply enjoyed as a side.
More Soup Recipes
Easy Coconut Squash Soup with Turmeric and Ginger
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tsp coarse salt divided use
- 1 tbsp packed finely grated ginger
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ⅛ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups coarsely mashed cooked winter squash any kind
- 1 398 mL/ 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
- Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and one tsp of salt. Cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, turmeric and cayenne and cook a minute more.
- Add mashed squash and stir to coat it in the spiced oil. Stir in coconut milk and remaining salt.
- Carefully transfer mixture to blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds (Important: work in two batches or use an immersion blender instead if your blender doesn't have heat vents for hot foods, or the lid might blow off from the steam.)
Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD