curried butternut squash soup

curried butternut squash soup

Inspired by one of my favorite Bay Area bakeries, this curried butternut squash soup is delicious, gluten free, and vegan! Kenny and I love to discover the best food in the Bay Area. Since we’re paying the “sandal tax” to live in California, we try to explore our surroundings whenever we can.

If you’ve ever been to Monterey, California you know that it’s gorgeous. White sand beaches, crashing blue waves, and beautiful purple blooms that carpet the coastline in Pacific Grove. Even though I’ve been visiting Monterey my entire life, my best experiences have taken place in the last 5 years since I married my best friend.

curried butternut squash soup

Kenny plans the most amazing trips for us every weekend. The last 260 weekends since we’ve been married have all been wonderful. We’ve explored the California coast from Point Reyes to Malibu and tested every bakery worth its salt (or yeast).

One of our favorite places is Alta Bakery in Monterey. Every item we’ve tasted (hello buttermilk chocolate cake) is divine! Our most recent trip to Alta Bakery included a vegan, gluten free butternut squash soup that rocked our world! There was also a tasty turkey focaccia sandwich and an amazing pumpkin donut with maple glaze but those are recipes for another day.

The soup was creamy, slightly sweet, and perfectly spiced. I mimicked the subtle flavors of Thai curry that I tasted in the soup and added a bright hit of lime juice. To keep the soup vegan, I soaked raw cashews that blended right in the soup adding heft and creaminess.

This recipe comes really close to the soup we fell in love with in Monterey. If you can’t venture out to the Pacific Ocean, you can still enjoy a taste of Alta with this yummy recipe.

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curried butternut squash soup

curried butternut squash soup

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos


  • ¼ cup raw cashews (plus a bit extra for garnish, don’t soak the garnish)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced (about 2 teaspoons minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into large chunks (use peeled and chopped store bought squash for convenience)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Juice of fresh lime
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with filtered water. Let the cashews soak while you prepare the soup.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the diced onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic to the onions. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  5. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the onions. Cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the butternut squash and the vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
  7. Simmer the soup until the butternut squash is very soft and can be pierced easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
  8. Drain the cashews and add them to the soup.
  9. Off the heat, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle the soup into a blender (in batches) until completely smooth.
  10. I like the soup to be thick and smooth so I don’t add any more liquid. However, if you prefer a thinner soup, add a little bit of water (¼ cup at a time) until you reach the consistency you like.
  11. Add ½ teaspoon salt and the juice of half a lime to the soup. Combine and taste. Adjust the lime and salt to suit your palette.
  12. Be sure to wait until the end of cooking to salt the soup. Vegetable broths vary in saltiness based on the brand you use.
  13. Top the soup with cilantro and a few cashews. Serve hot.
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