Looking for a new and exceptional soup to add to your repertoire? If so, this is the recipe for you! With its rich, velvety texture and sweet flavor, winter squash soup has always been a cold-weather favorite. Throw in a few distinctively Asian ingredients, however, and regular old squash soup turns into something quite astonishing! This soup is infused with the flavors of ginger, lemongrass, lime zest, and hot chilies. Fish sauce adds that unusual and seductive flavor unique to Southeast Asian cookery. The end result is an extremely tasty, satisfying, and very out of the ordinary treat. This is the perfect thing to have as the first course to any Asian dinner. I love serving this soup alongside rice and seared tofu and greens for a healthy, mostly vegetarian (except for the fish sauce) dinner. This recipe makes quite a lot of soup so you'll almost certainly have delicious leftovers.
Spring Rolls
Hot and Sour Squash Soup
Stir-fried Tofu and Asian Greens with Black Bean Sauce
Steamed White Rice


1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups vegetable stock
6 lemongrass stalks (bottom 5 inches only), coarsely chopped
3 to 5 thai bird or serrano chiles, coarsely chopped
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions

Cook the onion, garlic, and ginger in 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot (about 5 quart capacity) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and wine and boil, uncovered, until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lemongrass and chilies and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Puree the squash mixture in batches and then return to the pot. Stir in the browned lemongrass and chilies, lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Pour the soup through a sieve, discarding the solids, and season well with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 to 8 servings



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This soup can be made with any type of squash or pumpkin that you can find. I prefer to peel squash using a vegetable peeler over using a knife but you can do it any way you feel comfortable. Remember that squash are very resistant to cutting so take great care not to cut yourself and always use a very sharp peeler or knife.

Thai bird and serrano chilies are very hot so always wear gloves when working with them. The oils from the chilies can sometimes linger on your fingertips for days and, if you touch your face during that time, you risk getting the burning oils in your eyes - ouch!

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