Recipes > Thai Coconut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Squash Soup


This exotic vegetable soup is made with squash, chickpeas, cauliflower and just a hint of Panang paste.
  • Serves: 8
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 57,795
  • Success Rating: 94% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Soup

Making the Soup
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 lb butternut squash (approx.)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Panang paste (or to taste)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (approx. 1 pound)
  • 1 - 19 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 6 cups stock
  • 1 makrut lime leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt


To start the soup, roughly dice the onions. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the oil and let the onions sweat. Peel and cut the squash into about 1/2" to 1" -inch cubes.

Once the onions are completely translucent, add the squash. If you notice that the mixture looks a little bit dry, add another tablespoon of oil. Turn the heat to medium. Prepare the cauliflower by first cutting out the core, and then roughly chop into about 1" -inch pieces.

Give the squash a stir from time to time, so it cooks evenly. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Once the squash has softened, add the white wine vinegar. Turn up the heat slightly and add the Panang paste. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, palm sugar and stock. Bruise the makrut lime leaf before adding it to the soup. Increase the heat and bring everything to just a boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Step 2: Pureeing the Soup

Pureeing the Soup
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney (optional)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk


Before pureeing the soup, test the vegetables. They should be soft and easy to cut through. Add the mango chutney, if using. Note: If you don’t have mango chutney, you can add 1/2 fresh, diced mango.

Before pureeing, make sure to remove the lime leaf. Remove about 1 cup of the liquid. This is a great habit to get into when pureeing soups. You’ll always be able to control the amount of liquid, so you don’t wind up with a really thin soup.

Blend about 1/3 of the soup at a time, making sure there is enough liquid so it blends easily. As a safety precaution, hold the top of the blender with a cloth and be careful of the steam when you take off the lid. Blend for about a minute or until smooth. Transfer each batch to a clean pot. If you see that the consistency is quite thick, add the reserved liquid into the last batch. If you feel the soup is still too thick, you can add additional chicken stock, keeping in mind that the coconut milk will thin out the soup a bit more.

Once all of the soup is pureed, place it over a low heat. Stir in the salt and coconut milk. Taste one last time for seasoning and gently heat through. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.

Chef's Notes

Here is a recipe for Panang Paste. If you purchase Panang paste, rather than make your own, just be careful on how much you add. Some brands are much spicier than others.

Once the vegetables are cooked and soft, you could serve the soup as is, but this soup is much nicer when pureed.


  • Julie N
    Julie N
    I tried this and it was very good, but needed that extra ump, I think it was the kaffir lime, which I couldn't find; actually, too lazy to go down to the Thai market downtown as I happened to be rushed that day. Have to make it again, properly.
  • Michael C
    Michael C
    What does "Bruise the kaffir lime leaf before adding" mean. Should I take it out side and smack it around a bit?
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    and extract the essential oils, as one would with basil before inserting it into olive oil, in order to make basil oil. Enough to SMELL the leaf's perfume.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    What you are actually doing is breaking the cells open.
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    Science was not my forte, Joe, hence, baking is not something I indulge in. Humidity, sea level not my style....and much too formulatic (is that a word?)anyway. smell, cells, they both work for me! Happy Holidays folks!!!
  • Justin B
    Justin B
    I also couldn't a kaffir lime and I substituted roasted red pepper paste for panaeng paste (It was in the indian/thai section of my grocery store so I figured eh), but the soup is still amazing.
  • Brian B
    Brian B
    Love it, Love it, Love it. This is one of the best soups I have ever had. My coworkers agree that this is the best soup they have ever had. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
  • Deirdre H
    Deirdre H
    This would be good with hot wings and a Thai salad with a hot peanut dressing.
  • Monique O
    Monique O
    I was wondering because I find the soup a bit rich and it made a lot. I don't wanna eat it all week long as you can understand. I don't want to throw it out either. What can a girl do?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Yes this soup can be frozen. Just one note, if adding cream to a soup, it is better to add it after it has been frozen and while it is being reheated as this will help to prevent it from splitting. That being said, the coconut milk in this soup should be fine. Cheers!
  • Monique O
    Monique O
    Ok, I'm laughing my you know what off, because this soup isn't going to the freezer! I've been eating off of it all week despite what I said before. I think the soup gets better everyday. I wasn't so crazy about it the first day. BUT NOW, I can't get enough. ......And that dollop of coconut cream just takes it over the top and cools off some of the heat. :D
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I live on the tiny Island of Yap in Micronesia. Much of what this recipe called for isn't available here so I tried a few substitutions with amazing success... I thought you might be interested to see how much this recipe can be changed, following the general guidelines and still end up with a superb soup. No butternut squash here, so I just used a local squash, removed the seeds and cut into 3/4" cubes. The squash was white, so I added some fresh pumpkin to add color. Cauliflower is rarely available, but today it was... which is what precipitated my determination to make this soup. The cauliflower is imported from California and cost us $6.25 for a small head!! But it was worth it. I think the cauliflower is a key ingredient. No grapeseed oil, so I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil that we happened to have on hand. No Panang paste here, nor the ingredients to make my own, so I substituted 1 Tbsp of Sambal Oelek. It seemed a little too spicy pre-blending, but by the time it was blended, coconut milk and the remaining ingredients added, it had just the perfect "after-burner" effect that I like. No chickpeas available at the time I wanted to make the soup, so i used black-eyed peas. No White Wine Vinegar, so I just used a little white wine. No kaffir lime, so I just used some of the local fresh citrus fruit ... which is very lime-like. Palm Sugar is homemade here right from the trees and I was given some in liquid form from one of the locals. It is thick, black and magnificent! Almost molasses like but with a strong brown sugar taste. I used about 1 1/2 tsp. I also didn't have any mango chutney, and though fresh mango would have been a wonderful addition, they are not quite in season yet. So I used a couple of local bananas, (bananas here are tiny, but very flavorful) and some sweet chili sauce. I used 1.75 Qts of homemade chicken broth, and still ended up with a thick rich soup. It was about the consistency of homemade pea soup. Funny thing is I don't like squash, I'm not particularly fond of cauliflower, and I never eat pumpkin except as a pie, and yet this was easily the best soup I have ever made! and there is nothing else on this island that even comes close! I doubt that this tasted anything like the original recipe, but it was still a wonderful. Full of flavour, nutritious, creamy, and the perfect "kick". This was a nice way to eat my vegetables! This was a wonderful treat for us considering we live in the jungle.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Way to improvise using the ingredients available to you. Glad to hear your soup was a success. Cheers!
  • Johnny H
    Johnny H
    I had an amazing experience eating this soup. The Karri Lime Leaf had a major influence on the flavor which I loved. I put in the recommended about of Panang but should have put in a bit less (it was very very spicy). Remember to check how potent yours is. Thanks Rouxbe for yet another major success!
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    I have to say Rouxbe, another winner here. Butternut soup is my favorite to make, eat and share with friends. This recipes take it to a whole `nother level. 5 stars - A+ result. Even with a store bought paste, I cut down the serving to 2 TBSP and it worked out perfectly. Not too spicy, and not bland at all. Thanks to the previous posted for mentioning it was too much heat for them, I cut it down based on this.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    So glad that you liked the soup. And glad you cut the spice down, nothing worse then a great soup, that is too spicy to eat. Store bought brands of pastes are often much spicier. Btw, we were saying "nother leve" like that guy from MadTV :-) Keep up the great work! Cheers,
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    That's exactly where I got the expression from ... love that skit on MADTV. On another note...I wonder if I can dilute/cut down the store bought paste with some peanuts, tamarind, and other spices that call on your Panang paste. That way I cut down on some of the heat, for more paste and depth in flavor. Maybe i'll post this in the paste section....
  • Suzanne S
    Suzanne S
    I realized after making this that we had used Thai red curry instead of Panang paste. We followed the recipe exactly otherwise. IMHO, the chickpeas overwhelmed the flavour of the squash in this recipe in our version. I read that Panang often has nuts in it. Would the use of Panang brought out more the nuttiness of the chickpeas or is the difference in the two pastes subtle enough that I should reduce the chickpeas in my next batch to meet my personal preference?
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    The Panang paste adds a unique layer of flavor, but its not going to disguise the flavor of the chickpeas. If you find the chickpeas are overwhelming, then I'd simply cut down on the ratio of chickpeas to squash or use another type of bean more to your liking.
  • Richard G
    Richard G
    This soup came out somewhat delicious and great . I used my newly acquired Blendtec to blend the ingredients, and the mix was super smooth and fine with a nice inviting texture. I subbed the panang paste for red thai curry paste , but promise to hunt down the panang for the next batch . Overall , this will be a repeat to do during the season of squash ,
  • Jordan A
    Jordan A
    I just got back from the Asian market here in Tampa (which is rather far) and forgot the kaffir line leaf! However, I do have a couple lime trees in my backyard with leaves that look very similar, though I have experience to compare taste. Is this a really long shot?
  • Debbie D
    Debbie D
    This soup took me several days to make as I did it in steps. First I made the panang paste and chicken stock from scratch. I was given some squash from my brother's garden so I substituted an acorn squash for the butternut squash that the recipe called for. I'm eating a bowl of the soup as I type and I think it's one of the best soups I've made to date. So often I've had soup in a nice restaurant and said that I wished I could make soup as good. Well thanks to this great recipe (and a bit of patience on my part), I've achieve that goal. Thanks so much to Rouxbe! You guys are the best.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thanks Debbie - You did it. Great work as usual. ~Ken
  • Violet S
    Violet S
  • Grainne H
    Grainne H
    I made this last night, pretty good. I didn't have kaffir lime leaves and didn't really have a citrus element that it needed but it was pretty tasty all the same. I added coconut milk as well, it made it more rich and creamy.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Grainne: Thanks for writing. Sounds like you made a successful dish with your own touch! I like to call that "kitchen intervention." Nice work! Keep cooking! -Char
  • Roger M
    Roger M
    Am making the soup right now for the third or fourth time. It is delicious!!!! And so easy to make!!!! Thanks a ton!
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Roger--isn't it great when you find a recipe that is fun and easy to make? This is a favorite recipe for many--so glad you are enjoying it. Rouxbe on, Char

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