Coconut Ginger Squash Soup

from The Vegan Bridge

I created this soup a few years ago for the soup festival in Toronto during an especially cold and damp “chilling in your bones” kind of fall. I needed to create something warm and spicy to counter the gloomy weather, and squash was in season. The results were such a crowd pleaser that I went on to serve it at the restaurant I was working for. It was really hard to eventually take it off the menu as guests were absolutely in love with it, so it had to be in this book!



2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and halved lengthwise

½ cup + 2 Tbsp (155 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Fresh black pepper

1 medium onion, diced

1 leek (white part only), sliced thin

1 shallot, sliced thin

1 Tbsp (15 mL) ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder

½ cup (125 mL) white wine

6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock 

1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk

1 sprig thyme

4-6 tsp (20-30 mL) roasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

18 slices pickled ginger, for garnish

18 paper-thin red chili slices, for garnish

18 coriander cress stems, for garnish

Pickled Ginger:

½ cup (125 mL) thinly sliced ginger (skin scraped off)

1/3 cup (80 mL) rice vinegar

1/3 cup (80 mL) sugar

1/3 cup (80 mL) water

1 red Anaheim chili

1 pinch saffron



Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

Place the squash (cut side up) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill the cavity of each squash half with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and season with 1 tsp (5 mL) salt and ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper. Roast the squash for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender.

While the squash is cooking, heat ½ cup (125 mL) olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, shallot, ginger and curry powder and cook until lightly browned. Add the wine and reduce completely.

Remove the squash from the oven, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Add the cooked squash, coconut milk and thyme to the pot with the onions. Simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes, then remove the thyme.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a high-speed blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the hot soup into bowls or soup plates. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the soup. In the centre of each bowl of soup, place a few pickled ginger slices, red chili slices and coriander cress stems. Enjoy while nice and hot.

Pickled Ginger:

In a medium pot, add the ginger with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then quickly remove the ginger and shock in a bowl of ice water. Repeat this procedure two more times. Drain and place the blanched ginger in a medium bowl. 

In a medium pot, add the vinegar, sugar, water, chili and saffron and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over the blanched ginger until fully submerged. Let the mixture cool, then transfer the ginger with the pickling liquid to a sealed airtight container and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: Fall or winter, this soup warms your body and spirit. Smooth and comforting!

Contents and images used with permission by Whitecap Books.