Butternut squash and ginger soup has been a staple fall comfort food in my kitchen ever since I learned how to cook. Made with fresh ginger and coconut milk, this is a butternut squash bisque that is warming and perfect for a chilly day.
Butternut Squash Bisque
I have always loved winter squash, with butternut being one of my favorites. In fact, butternut squash bisque is one of the first things I learned to cook on my own!
This butternut squash soup with coconut milk and fresh ginger has a delicious warming flavor perfect for fall. It is a mild nutty soup incorporating carrots for a natural sweetness that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
This recipe happens to be a vegan butternut squash soup, and reflects the time in my life when I first learned to cook and was in fact vegan! Although I am not vegan anymore, I still love the complimenting taste of coconut milk and vegetable broth in this healthy soup recipe.
Other winter squash would work in this recipe too, there are 10 simple winter squash recipes here along with a super easy version of this soup. I personally love butternut squash bisque the most though!
Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup Recipe
This easy soup recipe doesn’t have to be made vegan, it can be added to and has some simple substitutions to make it your own. So feel free to use what you love and taste it as you go along to get the best flavor for your warming fall soup!
Yellow onion: Use one onion or about 8 ounces, chopped.
Fresh carrots: Use 4 medium carrots or about 8 ounces chopped. The amounts don’t have to be exact!
Garlic: I use 2 cloves and mince them. If the cloves are small or you want a stronger savory flavor, feel free to add more!
Olive oil: Opt for extra virgin olive oil for a light but flavorful oil. It also works to use butter instead if you prefer.
Vegetable broth: The flavor of the broth greatly affects the flavor of the soup, so make sure you like the taste of the broth or stock used! Substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth if you like that better and aren’t vegan or vegetarian.
Butternut squash: Fresh grown or bought at a market, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes. About 32 ounces or one-half of a large butternut squash is the right amount. Precut squash is an option too!
Dried thyme: I use dried thyme, but if you have access to fresh thyme and want to use that, just increase the amount to 1 Tablespoon.
Bay leaves: I used 2 large fresh bay leaves. Dried is okay too if that’s what is available, use the same amount.
Fresh ginger: I use a fine cheese grater or microplane to “mince” my ginger, it’s quick and easy! Another option is to substitute the fresh ginger with 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger.
Ground nutmeg: The warm earthy nutmeg complements the butternut squash so well!
Note: I have experimented with other spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in butternut squash bisque and felt they overpower the butternut squash flavor. I prefer the spice simple and subtle with only nutmeg. Feel free to make it your own and add herbs and spices according to personal taste.
Unsweetened coconut milk: Note that this is canned coconut milk for cooking rather than refrigerated coconut milk for drinking. Canned coconut milk is much thicker. Substitute with ½-1 cup of heavy cream if you prefer. I love the flavor that coconut milk adds, it complements the soup well and it makes this a vegan butternut squash soup!
Salt and pepper: Add to taste – I don’t add salt, the soup ends up being salty enough in my opinion especially because I typically don’t use low-sodium broth, but this is a personal preference. I do add some freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh thyme: Use to garnish so it will look beautiful and have amazing flavor!
How to Make Butternut Squash Bisque
First, coat the bottom of a large soup pot with olive oil or butter over medium-high heat.
Add in the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook the vegetables and stir often, until the onions have a slightly translucent appearance and the carrots are slightly soft. This usually takes about 2 minutes, just keep your eye on it.
Next, add the broth, butternut squash, dried thyme, bay leaves, ginger, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer.
Note: it may seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but don’t add more liquid in order to achieve the right consistency and have a thick soup rather than a watery soup.
Cover and allow the broth to simmer on medium-low heat. Keep stirring it occasionally until carrots and squash are soft and easy to stab with a fork. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Now, remove the pot from the heat, and also remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot until the contents are smooth.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully spoon all the contents into a blender and blend it until it’s smooth. Then return the blended soup to the pot.
Lastly, stir in the coconut milk or heavy cream.
To serve, garnish with fresh thyme and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Eat and Store Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
This soup can definitely be a meal on its own with how comforting, warming, and filling it is. My favorite way to serve it is with grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread with gouda. I highly recommend it!
Butternut squash bisque is also super tasty with a winter kale salad, bruschetta, and crackers. Any bread or bread bowls also go deliciously well, I like having sourdough naan bread or sourdough rye bread with it.
Really, almost any comforting side dish that will feed your soul would go well with this creamy butternut squash soup! Get creative with fall abundance.
Once cooled completely, store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Or, store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. This recipe is easy to double and does well reheating from frozen. Perfect for a busy weeknight!
I love to store soups using the souper cube silicone molds! It stores them in individual servings and makes the soup easy to reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
I usually remove the cubes once frozen and put them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag for storage.
More Fall Comfort Food Recipes
- Mashed Butternut Squash with Maple Syrup
- How to Roast Butternut Squash
- Homemade Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
- Freezer Apple Pie Filling
- Grandma’s Apple Cinnamon Cake
- Pumpkin Cornbread with Maple Butter
- Homemade Pumpkin Butter with Fresh Pumpkin
- Roasted Pumpkin Wedges
- Quick Pickled Cranberries
Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups carrots chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 8 cups butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh thyme to garnish
- Over medium high heat, coat the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil. Add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook stirring often, until onions have a slightly translucent appearance and carrots are slightly soft (about 2 minutes).
- Add broth, butternut squash, dried thyme, bay leaves, ginger, and nutmeg and bring to a simmer (note: it may seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but don’t add more liquid to achieve the right consistency and have a thick soup rather than a watery soup). Cover and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat until carrots and squash are soft and easy to stab with a fork (about 10-15 minutes).
- Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot until the contents are smooth. (Or carefully spoon all the contents into a blender, blend until smooth, and return the blended soup to the pot).
- Stir in the coconut milk. Garnish with fresh thyme and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
- The prep time includes cutting the butternut squash and other vegetables. If using pre-cut butternut squash the prep time is about 5 minutes.
- I drizzled heavy cream on top of the soup for the white swirl effect. You can also use coconut milk to keep it vegan.
- The natural sweetness that comes out from the squash, carrots, ginger, and coconut milk without having to add any sweeteners.
- Add herbs and spices according to personal taste.
- Substitute the fresh ginger with 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger.
- Substitute the coconut milk with ½ cup to 1 cup of heavy cream.
- Swap the olive oil for butter.
- Substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.