Butternut Squash Season
I get so excited when the new season’s squashes start showing up on the shelves and I get more than a bit carried away. Dotting them around the house to welcome in the colder weather as the wheel of the year turns and the autumn equinox approaches has become a family tradition and, of course, I pop them into lots of recipes too!
Of all the squashes it is butternut which makes the best soup. Its rich, sweet earthy flavour combines really well here with fiery chilli and ginger and cool, creamy coconut to bring you a hug in a mug (or bowl!)
You can buy butternut squash all year round but it is best eaten in season in the autumn and throughout winter. Look for a squash with a long neck and a small bottom. The seeds are in that bottom bit so you want as much neck as possible for cooking!
The Best Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup has been a feature of family menus since my children were tiny tots. They were weaned on plain pureed squash and, as they grew, I added in lentils for protein, a little Marmite for some B12 and flavour and then chilli for a bit of heat.
This soup has claim to being the best vegan butternut squash soup because it is:
- super easy to make with simple ingredients
- full of flavour
- packed with protein
Now that they are grown most of my children are beginning to scatter after the long lazy days of summer. My instinctive reaction is to feed them up before they leave. Comforting family favourites, like this squash soup, send them away with a bit of home in their hearts.
How To Make Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
There is nothing complicated about making this soup and there are a few shortcuts for you if you want to make it even simpler!
I roast the butternut because it gives a richer, deeper flavour to the soup. Simply toss peeled and chopped squash in a little oil and roast in a bot oven until soft and browning.
While the squash is roasting gently fry the onion until soft then add the chilli, garlic and ginger and fry until aromatic.
Add the lentils, cooked squash, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Pour into a blender and blend until smooth or use a stick blender in the pan for less washing up!
So that’s it, autumn welcomed in with a soul warming spicy soup, the turning of the year celebrated with a bowl of comfort, the first of the many squash meals we’ll be enjoying as the nights draw in. I’m looking forwards to cosy evenings in front of the fire with family, to bracing winter sails and to lots more comfort food!
More Autumnal Vegan Soups
- Celeriac Soup with Apple and Chilli Oil
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Easy Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Swede Soup
- Simple Chestnut Soup
Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 250 g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small chilli, finely chopped (leave seeds in for a spicy kick, remove them for a milder flavour adventure)
- 1 cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp red lentils
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 250 ml light coconut milk
- chopped chilli and fresh parsley to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F. Put 1 tbsp oil into a roasting tin and add the squash cubes. Mix to coat and then roast for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and browning.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the red onion gently until soft (about 5 minutes)
- Add the chopped chilli, garlic and ginger and fry for a further minute until aromatic.
- Add the lentils, roast squash, coconut milk and vegetable stock, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are soft.
- Pour into a blender and blend until smooth (or use a stick blender in the pan)
- If the soup is too thick add a little extra water, stock or coconut milk and whisk in.
- Serve topped with a little chopped chilli and fresh parsley.
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