A bowl of Spiced Butternut Squash Soup topped with cashew cream, cilantro, and croutons (overhead shot)
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By Devorah Bowen | The Yummy Vegan

The Art of Soups & Stews is a new monthly recipe column in which Best of Vegan contributor Devorah Bowen delves into her treasure trove of satisfying, comforting, cost-effective, and low-waste vegan soup and stew recipes. In today’s article, Devorah shares her Spiced Butternut Squash Soup.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

It’s hard not to think about creamy Butternut Squash Soup once the seasons turn to Fall/Winter. They’re practically synonymous! This recipe is easy to make and the resulting soup is wonderfully velvety and savory, with a bit of sweetness.

It uses Mala spice to make it stand out. The term málà is a combination of two Chinese characters: “numbing” (麻) and “spicy” (辣), referring to the feeling in the mouth after eating the sauce. The numbness is caused by Sichuan pepper used in the blend. Don’t be alarmed at the heat level though. Most mixes you will find contain a blend of spices that also include sugar to balance the heat.

You can also easily sub your favorite Curry powder or go with more traditional spices like Sage and Thyme. This spiced butternut soup will be perfect on your holiday table, but don’t wait for a special occasion and make some now!

What You’ll Need

  • Butternut Squash
  • Vegetable or vegan “No Chicken” Broth
  • Onion 
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Mala Spice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cashew Cream (optional, see below)
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Vegan Croutons

For the Cashew Cream:

  • Raw Cashews
  • Water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Miso Paste (optional)

How to Make this Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Step one: prepare the butternut squash

Prepare the butternut squash by peeling the outer skin and cutting away the ends. Cut in half to remove the seeds (you can keep them to roast just like pumpkin). Cube the squash and add them to a bowl. Toss with oil, salt, pepper and 1 1/2 tsp of mala spice.

Step two: bake the butternut squash

Lay the cubes out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet(s) and bake at 375F (about 190C) for 40-50 minutes or until soft and the edges have browned. Flip once half way through the baking time.

Step three: start on the aromatics

While the squash is roasting, start on the aromatics. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and sauté the onion and celery for about 4-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and turn the heat to low. Allow the mixture to cook until the garlic becomes fragrant. 

Step four: bring it all together

Add the cooked butternut squash, broth and remaining mala spice to the pot and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

Step five: blend the butternut squash soup

In batches, blend the mixture until it becomes a velvety somewhat thick mixture. You can add more water or broth to help thin it. Return the soup to the pot to heat through.

Step six: serve and enjoy!

Serve with cashew cream (instructions below), fresh cilantro and crusty bread or croutons.

How to make the (optional) cashew cream

Soak the cashews in enough hot water to cover them for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse before adding to a blender along with 1/3 cup water, miso paste, salt & pepper. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Add additional water as needed to thin the cream.

A bowl of Spiced Butternut Squash Soup topped with cashew cream, cilantro, and croutons (overhead shot)

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

5 from 1 vote
This spiced butternut squash soup recipe is easy to make and the result is a wonderfully velvety and savory soup with a bit of sweetness.
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Author: Devorah Bowen | The Yummy Vegan
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized butternut squash 1600g
  • 5 cups of vegetable or vegan "No Chicken" Broth 1250mL
  • 1 small 230g onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2-3 tsp of Mala Spice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional toppings:

  • Cashew Cream recipe below
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Vegan Croutons

For the Cashew Cream:

  • 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/3 cup - 1/2 water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp Miso Paste optional

Instructions

For the Cashew Cream:

  • Soak the cashews in enough hot water to cover them for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse before adding to a blender along with 1/3 cup water, miso paste, salt & pepper. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Add additional water as needed to thin the cream.

For the Soup:

  • 1. Prepare the butternut squash by peeling the outer skin and cutting away the ends. Cut in half to remove the seeds (you can keep them to roast just like pumpkin) Cube the squash and add them to a bowl. Toss with oil, salt, pepper and 1 1/2 tsp of mala spice.
  • 2. Lay the cubes out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet(s) and bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes or until soft and the edges have browned. Flip once half way through the baking time.
  • 3. While the squash is roasting start on the aromatics. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and sauté the onion and celery for about 4-6 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and turn the heat to low. Allow the mixture to cook until the garlic becomes fragrant. 
  • 4. Add the cooked butternut squash, broth and remaining mala spice to the pot and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  • 5. In batches, blend the mixture until it becomes a velvety somewhat thick mixture. You can add more water or broth to help thin it. Return the soup to the pot to heat through.
  • Serve with cashew cream, fresh cilantro and crusty bread or croutons.
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Recipe, text, and photography by Devorah Bowen.

Devorah Bowen: About the Author

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