Cashew Butternut Squash Soup

by Jan 23, 2018

If you’re familiar with vegan desserts and alternative milks, you know the surprising creamy texture of raw cashews. Adding some to soup is a brilliant move, creamy without a drop of dairy. I first enjoyed this soup at an early winter dinner party—pot of soup, great wine, and a big, crusty loaf of Blackbird bread. Everyone was cozy, warm and swooning. Thanks to Sarabeth and to the New York Times for the original, “Creamy Cashew Butternut Squash Soup.”


Cashew Butternut Squash Soup

serves 6–8; adapted from Dawn Lerman, New York Times Cooking


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 butternut squash large, 2–3 pounds
  • 1 clove garlic minced and mashed with salt, next
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder Maharajah from Penzey's
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 5 cups vegetable broth I like using 2 cubes bouillon (Edward & Sons Low Sodium Garden Veggie or Rapunzel)
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Toppings: raw pepitas, dollop of crème fraîche or coconut cream

Serve with: naan or flatbread


  1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven. Add onion and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until onions are softened but not browned.   

  2. Prepare the squash:  Cut in half, scoop out and discard seeds (first I cut a small slice off stem end to get it out of the way). Cut off peel and chop into small chunks, about 1/2". Set aside.

  3. Add garlic/salt mash to the onions and cook for a minute or two, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, and turmeric and sizzle for a minute to bloom the spices.  

  4. Add squash chunks, cashews and vegetable broth and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes then remove pot from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

  5. Purée the soup in multiple batches using a powerful blender (start with slow speed and increase to high). Return to pot, add coconut milk and reheat to serving temperature. 

Serving Ideas

  1. I like to top this soup with toasted and salted pepitas. Buy raw and unseasoned ones and toast in a frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Toss now and then while cooking, they will begin to pop and sizzle and turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them as they burn quickly. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.

  2. At serving time, add a dollop of cream—crème fraîche or coconut cream—or a drizzle of nice olive oil or chile oil. Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and serve with warmed or toasted naan (sliced into sticks for dipping is my favorite).


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