Curried Peanut Squash Soup
You can make curried peanut squash soup with just 8 basic ingredients in half an hour. This spiced, creamy, and flavorful soup makes an easy and healthy weeknight meal.
There's actually a vegetable called peanut squash, so to clarify, this recipe should be called curried peanut butter butternut squash soup. That's a mouthful and way too much butter, especially considering that this soup is dairy free.
Combining peanut butter, butternut squash, and curry powder may sound odd, but it's really not that much of a stretch. You can make stew out of peanut butter and curry out of sweet potatoes, so why not combine the best of both dishes?
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 1 pound of peeled and diced butternut squash (4 cups)
- 3 cups of broth
- ¼ cup of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- optional: yogurt, chopped peanuts for garnish
- Heat up the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and curry powder. Stirring occasionally, saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
- Add the butternut squash, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes to brown the pieces.
- Add the broth, and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the butternut squash is tender.
- Stir in the peanut butter and soy sauce.
- Blend the soup in batches.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers store well in the fridge for a few days.
- Olive oil: Used for cooking the stew. Helps mellow out the onion and toast the spices. Any sort of oil (canola, vegetable, olive) is okay. Peanut oil would work well in this context.
- Onion: Required for curried peanut squash soup. Adds sweetness and depth. Any color onion (red, white, yellow) is okay. Milder onions, such as spring onions or shallots, would also work.
- Garlic: Adds flavor. Use up to 4 cloves.
- Curry powder: Required for curried peanut squash soup. Omit to make peanut squash soup. Curry powder can contain a variety of spices: turmeric, cumin, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, mustard, cinnamon.
- Butternut squash: Other hard orange vegetables would also work, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, or pumpkin.
- Broth: Provides enough liquid to cook the butternut squash and adds flavor. I used 1 tablespoon of chicken Better than Bouillon + 3 cups of water. You can make a vegan version using vegetable stock.
- Peanut butter: Adds rich, peanutty flavor. Natural peanut butter would be the most flavorful, and creamy peanut butter works the best for a smooth texture. Add up to 1/2 cup.
- Soy sauce: Adds a savory flavor that complements the sweetness of the butternut squash. Substituting 1/4 teaspoon of salt would work, but it would be less flavorful.
- Garnish: Adding acid, such as yogurt, to a curried peanut squash soup brightens up the flavors. Adding crushed peanuts adds textural contrast.
Step by Step Photos
Start by dicing the onion and the garlic. You need about 1 cup of onion about a fistful. I had a really large onion, so I diced half and saved half for later.
Dice the butternut squash. I used Trader Joe's peeled and cut butternut squash. It's not that much more expensive ($1.83/pound) than whole butternut squash ($1.20/pound), and it's a whole lot more convenient. The chunks are pretty big, so I cut them into smaller pieces.
If you don't have this option, I would suggest making this soup with another vegetable, such as sweet potato or carrot, because prepping butternut squash is a serious pain. Sorry about the dark process shots. You can check my post on coconut sweet potato curry for brighter pictures since the steps are basically the same.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of curry powder. Stirring occasionally, saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
Add the butternut squash, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes to brown the pieces. It doesn't matter how cooked the butternut squash is because we will simmer it more later.
Add the broth, and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the butternut squash is tender. You should simmer uncovered so the water evaporates and you get a thicker soup.
I used Better than Bouillon, which is a concentrated broth base. You need 1 teaspoon + 1 cup of water to make 1 cup of broth, so I added 1 tablespoon of Better than Bouillon and 3 cups of water to the pot.
After simmering, the curried peanut squash soup should be thick and starchy. For the best texture, you should make sure that the butternut squash is really soft and mushy.
Stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. You may want more or less soy sauce depending on how salty your broth is. My friend Emily Swanson from Beauty in Christ sent me some awesome homemade honey peanut butter, and it added subtle sweetness to the soup. Normally, I would use natural creamy peanut butter.
If you want some texture in your soup or if you don't want to wash a blender, you can leave the chunks. If you want to mash some of the chunks, you can use a potato masher or an immersion blender.
However, if you want a perfectly smooth soup, you need to use a blender or food processor. The soup cooks down to about 3 cups, so you should be able to blend it in one batch if you have a large blender. Be careful not to overfill the blender though unless you want hot soup flying everywhere.
Serve the curried peanut squash soup immediately. Blending the soup should cool it down a bit, so you don't have to wait any longer. Leftovers store well in the fridge for a few days. Topping the soup with a swirl of yogurt and some crushed peanuts not only makes the soup look super fancy, but also adds tangy creaminess and nutty crunch.
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