Recipe: Best Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

My first experience with butternut squash soup was at a small local restaurant in Tualatin, Oregon about 15 years ago.  It was a brisk Fall evening and I was on an unmemorable date, well, other than the soup that is.  From I can remember, the soup was made from roasted squash, and had hazelnuts and fresh sage in it.  I still remember its warm, beautiful color, and pleasantness.  What does that say about me if I can’t remember anything about the girl I took to that restaurant?  Anyway, that single soup experience set me on a multiple year journey to perfect this quaint Fall soup.

In my journey, I recreated the sage infused soup of that first experience, and decided sage overpowered the delicate squash flavors.  I tried making the soup with ginger instead, but ginger had the same overpowering effect.  On another occasion, I used heavy cream, but the cream was so heavy and rich it made eating more than a cup of soup painful.  Rosemary, thyme, cayenne, cinnamon, and cocoa powder all found their way into my experimental creations, but none made the cut.  I even tried several celebrity chef versions, and though better, they still weren’t what I was looking for.  But then I came across something at a completely unexpected outlet that totally turned the tides of my journey.  It was a butternut squash soup in the packaged soup bar of Safeway grocery stores.

I know, that sounds utterly ridiculous, but don’t stop reading because of it.  Safeway used both butternut squash AND carrots in their soup.  This vegetable combo somehow made all the difference in both texture and flavor.  The carrots added an additional sweetness to the soup, and helped to balance out the use of herbs and spices.  Their soup wasn’t particularly amazing from a flavor perspective, but the texture was spot on.  So I rolled up my sleeves and started my experimentation all over again.

I decided that the two vegetables needed some sort of creaminess added to smooth out their puree, but I didn’t want to repeat the caloric coma of heavy cream again.  So I tried half and half, whole milk, and 2% milk.  None were right.  So I turned to coconut milk instead.  And voila, the coconut milk added the perfect balance of fat and silky creaminess without being heavy and overbearing.  And surprisingly enough, the coconut flavor completely got lost in the butternut squash and carrot blend.  If you weren’t told it was in there you wouldn’t be able to tell.  Cool.

I then had to figure out the right herb/spice blend.  All my other attempts didn’t provide the flavor result I was looking for.  So I turned to a basic squash seasoning I often use when roasting squash in the oven:  curry powder.  The earthy notes of curry powder spices pair perfectly with butternut squash, but too much of it would destroy my soup, turning it into an Indian curry sauce instead of the delicate soup I was going for.  Adding just enough to add a hint of spice, but not enough to know what the spice was, turned out to be the perfect addition I had been searching for all those years.  The warmth and pleasantness of that first soup experience came rushing back to me thanks to the curry powder addition.  Perfect!

The only thing left was to balance everything out with some added sweetness.  White sugar was totally wrong, brown sugar worked pretty good, but the best addition ended up being pure maple syrup.  It added the perfect amount of sweetness, and provided the added bonus of a hint of maple flavor too.  Maple, curry, coconut, carrot, and butternut squash was the answer.  The magical combination of flavors and textures to create the best butternut squash I’ve ever had.

Ingredients for Perfect Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch squares (roughly 8 cups)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 onion, diced (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for garnishing
  • salt and black pepper to taste

How to Make The Best Butternut Squash Soup

First, prepare all of your vegetable ingredients.  If you are not comfortable with handling fresh winter squash, read “How to Peel and Cube Butternut Squash.”

Chopped Veg for Butternut Squash Soup

Chopped Veg for Butternut Squash Soup

Second, heat the oil in a large pot over high heat until hot, then add the squash, carrots, and onion.  Saute over high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and squash just beings to break down on the surface, about 8 minutes.

Saute Butternut Squash Veg in Pot

Saute Butternut Squash Veg in Pot

Next, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, maintaining a slow boil.  Cook for 20-30 minutes, until carrots and squash are fork tender.

Add Chicken Broth To Veg

Add Chicken Broth To Veg

Transfer to a blender (using a Vitamix makes for an incredibly silky smooth texture) and blend until smooth.  Alternately, you can use an immersion blender.

Return the soup puree to the pot over medium heat.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see “the man in the squash soup” like I did when making this batch.  Weird right?

Man in the Squash Soup

Man in the Squash Soup

Add the coconut milk, curry powder, and maple syrup.

Add Coconut Milk to the Squash Puree

Add Coconut Milk to the Squash Puree

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When serving, garnish with toasted squash seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or hazelnuts, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Bowl of Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Bowl of Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Makes roughly 18 cups soup.

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, January 29, 2008

 

The Bald Gourmet spends years in trial and error to create the best butternut squash and carrot soup recipe.

 

1.0 from 1 reviews

Recipe: Best Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
 
Prep time

Cook time

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This fantastic Fall soup recipe is the result of years of experimentation. Through much trial and error, I found the perfect ingredients for the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever tasted; maple, curry, coconut, carrot, and butternut squash. They are the answer to a long multiple year journey to create the perfect Fall soup. This magical combination of ingredients will provide you with a colorful, perfectly flavored, amazing silky-smooth textured Butternut Squash soup that will warm and comfort you on those “stay at home” Fall and Winter evenings.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Servings: Roughly 18 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch squares (roughly 8 cups)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 onion, diced (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for garnishing
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. First, prepare all of your vegetable ingredients.
  2. Second, heat the oil in a large pot over high heat until hot, then add the squash, carrots, and onion. Saute over high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and squash just beings to break down on the surface, about 8 minutes.
  3. Next, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, maintaining a slow boil. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until carrots and squash are fork tender.
  4. Transfer to a blender (using a Vitamix makes for an incredibly silky smooth texture) and blend until smooth. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender.
  5. Return the soup puree to the pot over medium heat.
  6. Add the coconut milk, curry powder, and maple syrup.
  7. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Notes
When serving, garnish with toasted squash seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or hazelnuts, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • the butternut squash recipe rates 5 stars–don’t know what happened

  • Thanks for this recipe! I’ve looked for one all fall for the 3 squash I saved for soup. Made it today–delicious. Glad I searched through your old posts.

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The Bald Gourmet Mug

I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.