Thai-Style Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

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Thai Butternut Squash Soup

If you’re in need of a little comfort food right now, then I have just the cozy recipe for you. This Thai-style butternut squash soup made with coconut milk is soothing and flavorful, and the heat from the ginger and spices will warm you right up. The Sriracha, peanuts, scallions and cilantro garnishes are not obligatory, but I love the vibrant flavors and textures — and they look pretty, too. For me, this soup is filling enough to serve as a main course but for heartier eaters, feel free to add a scoop of jasmine rice to bulk it up.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

To begin, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Add the butternut squash, carrots, broth, fish sauce, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the curry paste.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until silky smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender in batches, making sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape.)

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and salt; bring to a simmer but do not boil. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the remaining tablespoon of curry paste if more heat is desired.

how to make thai butternut squash soup

Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with Sriracha and garnish with the scallions, peanuts, and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

how to make thai butternut squash soup

My Recipe Videos

Thai-Style Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger, from a 2-inch knob
  • 2-1/2 pounds pre-cut butternut squash (or one 3-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed)
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cups chicken broth, best quality such as Swanson
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (preferably not low fat)
  • Juice of half a lime, plus more limes for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional Garnishes

  • Sriracha sauce, for drizzling
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary.
  2. Add the squash, carrots, broth, fish sauce, sugar, and curry paste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until silky smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender in batches, making sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape.) Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and salt (if the coconut milk is solidified, use the immersion blender to mix it in). Bring to a simmer, then taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with the Sriracha and garnish with the scallions, peanuts, and cilantro, if using.
  4. Make Ahead: This soup can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken up quite a bit as it cools, so you'll need to add a bit of water or broth to thin it back to the right consistency upon reheating.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. (It may thicken up a bit while in the freezer; if so, just thin it out with a bit of water or broth while reheating.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 bowl (not including garnishes)
  • Calories: 307
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 648 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • Fantastic!! So easy, especially if you use pre-cut squash. Definitely recommend!!

    • — Eileen on October 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made it the other day. Massive cheating though. Maybe I should call it freezer thai soup. I used a frozen soup base of diced carrots, onions and celery. Added frozen garlic and ginger cubes then frozen butternut squash. The only issue is that the celery may have added a texture that I wanted to strain. Added two tablespoons of chunky peanut butter. Overall very good.

    • — Ken Lutz on October 16, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Can I sub raw honey for the sugar in this recipe? I have someone who can only use honey for sweetener.

    • — Noreen on October 14, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Noreen, that would be fine. Because honey tastes a bit sweeter than sugar though, you may want to cut back on just a bit (or add it to taste). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • Has anyone made this with low-fat coconut milk? That’s what I have on hand

    • — Laura P on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this Butternut Curry Soup exactly as written last weekend . It was delicious and so satisfying! We served it with Jasmine rice as suggested, for 2 dinners-I’ve shared the recipe with friends! Thanks, Jenn

    • — Elena on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hello-

    I’m going to make this for dinner tonight! I will be omitting the fish sauce and I noticed that you suggested adding extra salt because of this. How much extra salt?

    As an aside, I LOVE your recipes!! Have you ever considered opening a restaurant?

    Donna

    • — Donna on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, I’d start with 1/4 tsp extra and then taste and adjust seasoning from there. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 12, 2018
      • Reply
  • This was wonderful! I try to avoid meat so used vegetable broth. It was delicious. I like it cold too. I can’t say enough good things about it.

    • — Mary Lew McCarty on October 7, 2018
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  • For your soups that use butternut squash, can other types be used? We have grown some in our garden and would like to try those if you think the product will still be delicious. Thank you.

    • — Barbara Wilson on October 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Generally, I think that should work, Barbara. The sugar may need to be tweaked a little depending upon the squash, but you can add it to taste. If you have any questions about specific recipes, happy to try to help!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this last night for supper club and it was spot on! The great thing about this soup is you can make it the night before, and then reheat it right before dinner begins. I did add a little more chicken stock the next day for a smooth consistency.

    • — Richard Johnson on October 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Soooo Tasty! I made this soup for supper and started by roasting my veggies, it’s just a personal preference. I used honey instead of sugar, otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. It has the perfect amount of heat to sweetness ratio.
    Great way to use the local butternut squash and kick off soup season. Thanks for another Great recipe!!

    • — Nora on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this last year with the first signs of fall. I was worried it might be too spicy, but even my 12 year old loved it! I put more Siracha & cilantro on mine, it was divine!! I’m making again this weekend!! Beautiful soup!!

    • — Amy Getzoff on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m looking for a pumpkin curry soup using canned pumpkin purée. Do you think pumpkin purée can be substituted in this recipe and if so, how much?
    Have made many of your recipes and all have been wonderful.

    • — Patti on August 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Patti! I think that you could get away with pumpkin puree here and that you’d need about 2 1/2 cups give or take. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it this way!

      • — Jenn on August 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • I tried this soup when I had to figure out what to do with a lot of roasted butternut squash I had leftover from a Christmas buffet. It is perfectly balanced and has become a favorite!

    • — Anna Kostaroff on July 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious! 10 stars.

    • — Olga on March 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Wow this soup is DELICIOUS thank you so much for the recipe will definitely be making it again!

    • — Bianca on March 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious.

    • — Amber on March 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • We were having guests for dinner and I was making a favorite recipe of mine, Yellow Curry with Yellow Rice, which both also contain coconut milk, so this recipe seemed like a perfect pairing. I prepared it exactly like the recipe and everyone loved it!

    • — Julie Daugherty on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe. I’m fond of fish sauce so I added just a slight bit more. I made it for a dinner party and everyone asked for the recipe.

    • — jhanks on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Love this soup recipe- This lime juice and curry paste add the extra flavour!
    And it’s dairy free!
    I use your recipes all the time.

    • — Alice on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • The hardest part of this recipe was getting it into the blender . . .(and peeling the squash) but it was all well worth it. Fabulous flavor, easily sourced ingredients – and a huge hit at dinner. Will make this again soon.

    • — Cheryl Campbell on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This was fab! All the recipes that I’ve tried from your site are really, really delicious!!! I’ve tried chicken, soups, apps, breads…all wonderful!!! Easy to follow & the step by step pics are helpful!! I just pre-ordered the cookbook. I’m a pretty good cook…and now I’d say I’m great because of you! I’m a fan!

    • — Kat on February 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Thank you, Kat – so happy you’re having success with the recipes!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this soup last week & followed your recipe exactly…..SO GOOD!!!! Flavour and mouth feel is unforgettable. (used a blender) Shared a container with my daughter who took it to school (a high school teacher;) the other teachers were licking their spoons clean when offered a taste & asking for the recipe. One of her students even commented that she smelled so good. Do try this soup! 5 Stars!

    • — Trish on February 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • I’ve had a lot of butternut squash soups but this – this is the best. The carrot adds a sweetness that balances beautifully – a great Thai soup of the right combination of spicy/sour/and sweet. I was concerned the red curry paste amount would be too much heat for my family but the full fat coconut milk tempers the heat quite a bit. If you choose to use light coconut milk (not recommended) I would scale back on the curry paste. I LOVED the toppings – they added such a great contrast of textures and fresh flavor, especially the green onions and chopped peanuts. I wouldn’t change a thing!

    • — Lynnessa on February 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • Wow! Delicious but very spicy vegetable (but not vegetarian – due to the chicken broth) soup for a cold winter’s day. I used a butternut squash, peeled and cubed, and felt it needed to simmer an extra 5 minutes. *Important: next time we would use one less Tbsp of red curry paste. Not sure if it was our brand or not, but wow; it was spicy!

    • — Kathie H on February 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • The flavors in this soup are divine. My whole family of picky eaters loved it!

    • — Jill Griffin on February 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious soup. Prep to table in less than an hour. I was pressed for time, so I put the cubed squash in my food processor and pulsed to small pieces which made the cook time much less. I added a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of hot curry powder and a 1/2 tsp dried grated orange peel for some brightness. Definitely include the garnishes for the best flavor as well as lovely presentation. Will make again and freeze half for super easy and delicious weeknight meal.

    • — Julie Roedell on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this according to the recipe, except substituted soy sauce for the fish sauce. Excellent! A great soup for a cold winter day. Also froze half of it and it reheated beautifully. Great flavors!

    • — Joan on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This was very good! I did add a couple cubed potatoes. Did not have fresh squash but frozen which worked fine. Used two 12 oz bags. Added the extra curry paste. Didn’t make it too spicy. I’m not a “heat “ loving person and found myself adding a little more spice as well as Sriracha. My newfound fav!! Will make this again!

    • — Rhonda G. on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipe. Just spicy enough and full of flavor. This will be a regular in our home, well RV!

    • — john on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This soup is a new favorite! It is delicious. It makes a large batch. I ended up freezing half. I’m glad to say it freezes well. I enjoyed it again, yesterday!

    • — Kate H. on January 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • This soup is delicious 😋. I bought frozen organic butternut squash at Costco. It came as 4 packaged 1lb. Bags. I used 2 bags and I think I had too much broth. It was very thin. But the squash could have also been watery due to it being frozen. It was still so good. I’ll use less broth next time if using frozen. All the ingredients I had on hand except cilantro. Hubby hates cilantro. Too bad for him. I have been trying more Thai recipes and I love this soup. I also always use the “better than bouillon” brand of soup stock. Chicken and veggie and they are organic also.

    • — Doreeni on January 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • I also topped the soup off with raw baby spinach. Yummmmm

      • — Doreeni on January 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Thanks this is really delicious! I decided to roast the squash cubes/ carrots/ onion and garlic in the oven until tender and then add to soup pot and proceed as written. Great soup- thanks!

    • — Sonya on January 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • This is such a tasty soup and so easy to make. I substituted veggie broth for the chicken broth and omitted the fish sauce as I am vegetarian. Still delicious!

    • — Anthony on January 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Garnished with cilantro, scallions, and roasted pumpkin seeds, instead of peanuts.
    I froze a portion and it tasted just as good as freshly made. Loved this! Yum!!

    • — Vee on January 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • I didn’t really care for it – perhaps it would have been more to my liking if I used half the amount of fish sauce. Also I was just a “tad” short of the recommended butternut squash amount – perhaps 1/4 lb so maybe that made the fish sauce stand out more. Didn’t really think the coconut milk added that much to the soup either unfortunately. My red curry paste wasn’t a fresh jar either (one month away from expiry) so it’s possible that may have also muted the curry flavor.

    • — maria on January 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • I thought I was in trouble when I put the fish sauce in. That stuff is awful! So I let it cook out and it got better. Couldn’t taste it at all.

      • — Doreeni on January 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • You know what Jenn? I do not go out to eat as much anymore, because with your recipes I feel like I am having a fine dining experience at home. This soup is wonderful, the flavors blend to perfection. I added all the optional ingredients and it brought the soup to a new level of goodness. It was easy to make, did not take long and tasted incredible.

    • — Trudy Black on January 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on February 3, 2018
      • Reply
  • This was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

    • — Shannon on January 16, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, wanting to try another of your great recipes for a ladies lunch this week. To make this slightly more substantial do you think adding some fish, say prawns and/or cod, salmon for the last few minutes of cooking would work ok? Many thanks, Maxine

    • Hi Maxine, I think prawns would work well here. I might cook them separately and use them as more of a garnish (only because it would look prettier) but either way will work. Hope you all enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on January 14, 2018
      • Reply
      • Great idea Jenn thanks, sounds perfect, grilled prawns on top would look top notch!

  • Just made this..another 5 star recipe.!
    I garnished with cilantro and pumpkin seeds instead of peanuts.
    Jenn, keeps the hits coming.

    • — Jenny on January 13, 2018
    • Reply
  • My husband and I made this last night for dinner with some rice and it was absolutely delicious! Another great recipe we will make again. Thanks, Jenn!

  • I love this soup. I make a big batch and freeze it in 1 cup portions to use as a wonderful sauce for all kinds of uses. Today I’m using it to marinate cod loins that will cook right in the soup when we’re ready to eat. Marvelous flavor. Thanks!

    • — Jody Spiro on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the recipe as is and it was delicious but a little thin for my taste. So, I added cooked/mashed yellow potato to the leftovers and it was excellent and hearty. Next time I will cut back on the Fish sauce – it was a little too strong for me. Thanks for all your recipes. You have great taste and I appreciate the short list of ingredients.

    • — Maureen on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Loved this soup–and I ramped up the ginger for an extra bright taste by adding some powdered ginger as well. Couldn’t find curry paste out in the “sticks” where I live, so I used curry powder.
    This soup really warmed our sub-zero weather last week!
    Love your recipes, Jenn.

  • What would you pair this with ?

    • — Lee Ann on January 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious soup!! Kids even loved it. Will definitely make this one again.

    • — Liz Clark on January 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • So good, just made this tonight and I’m a huge fan. I have really been digging these Thai flavors that you use in a lot of recipes. Completely changing how I cook lately. It’s just so good!!!

    • — Deanna on January 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • We made this recipe tonight and it was excellent! My husband and I love spice so we actually used 4-5 tablespoons of curry paste. We will definitely be making this again but next time we’ll double it so we can have leftovers in the freezer!

    @Tannis – We used frozen cubed squash (President’s Choice from Fortinos — A Canadian grocery store) which came in 750g bags. 1.5 bags was equivalent to the required 2.5lbs called for in the reipce.

    • — Tina on January 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe hit my inbox right before a trip to the grocery store. I’m so glad it did! I made it last night and it was a hit for me and my husband.

    • — Suzon on January 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • Sounds great for a COLD Canadian winter day! Two questions:
    1. Is fish sauce the same as oyster sauce? (Oyster sauce is what I have in the fridge).

    2. I am using frozen cubed squash – how many cups would I use and also, should I partially defrost if first?

    Love your recipes and LOVE LOVE the fact that we can ask a specific question and that questions are answered!

    Tannis

    • — Tannis on January 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tannis, Thank you for the kind words! 😊 Unfortunately, fish sauce is not the same as oyster sauce. But you don’t need to go out and buy fish sauce if it’s too cold out! You can omit it and just add more salt (fish sauce is very salty). Re. the squash, it’s hard to say exactly but I’m guessing about 8 cups — but use the photos here as your guide (the broth should just barely cover the vegetables) — and no need to defrost it first.

      • — Jenn on January 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is the most exciting thing I have made with butternut squash this season. Will note it as a must make for next season!

    • — Ulrike on January 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • i am allergic to coconut; is there a suitable substitute i could use?

    • — linda on January 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, You could use 1 cup of heavy cream or half & half instead. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this tonight for my husband who has a cold and it was the perfect medicine! So warming, spicy and comforting. I’m glad the recipe makes a ton because we’ll be having it again tomorrow. 🙂

    • — Kelly on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Saw this in my inbox today and I went straight to the grocery store to make it. Delicious and so easy to make. Thank you for another great recipe!

    • — HEATHER JOHNSON on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Very good. Nice Thai flavors come through. Don’t hold back on the ginger, or the cilantro and scallion toppings – peanuts not essential in our house. I also added extra paste at the end. Not too spicy at all, just nice and flavorful. Great soup for coming home to after a cold winters day walk/activity. Serve with some fresh crusty bread. Delicious!

    • — Kathy on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Excited to try your recipes for 2018. On this one, which I plan to make this weekend, can one leave out the sugar? I’m really trying to kick that habit. Just wasn’t sure if there was a reason you have it in there. Thank you!! Big Fan!

    • — Lisa Sewell on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! I always think butternut squash soup begs for a little added sweetness but you can leave the sugar out and add it to taste at the end. If you go that route, I’d leave out the salt and add it only to taste at the end since the sugar and salt sort of balance each other out. Hope that helps and I’d love to know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Sounds good but besides subbing veggie broth, what would you suggest as an alternative to fish sauce for vegans?

    • — Timaree on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Timaree, You can omit it but you’ll definitely need to add more salt. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hello, do you think it’s ok use canned butternut squash? If so, how much?

    • — Jodi on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jodi, I suspect that would work, but I’m honestly not sure how much you’d need. Assuming the cans are about 15 ounces each, I’d probably start with 2, but have a 3rd can on hand in case you need to thicken up the soup a bit more. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • My husband loves squash so I’ll definitely make this. Sounds heavenly. What is your opinion on substituting vegetable broth in place of chicken broth in this soup, as well as other soup recipes? I’m asking because sometimes I cook for vegetarians. BTW, many of your recipes are favorites.

    • — Diane on January 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, It depends on the recipe but for this one, I think vegetable broth would be perfectly fine. In general, chicken broth adds much richer flavor than vegetable broth so I wouldn’t substitute it in a recipe where the broth is the “star.” But for puréed vegetable soups like this one, it won’t make that big of a difference. Hope that helps – and so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2018
      • Reply
      • I’ve been cooking a lot with veggie broth recently and I’ve found the ready-made (or powder) versions a bit thin on flavour, especially, as you say, in soups where the broth is the star. I’ve started making a stock that is a bit like bone broth but without the bones, but I really make sure the onions are browned and caramelised (in a little olive oil) before I add the rest of the veg and the water. If you throw in a few mushroom stalks for good measure, that gives it a savoury kick too. Soup looks absolutely yummy and is going on my January list of things to make.

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