the classic fall vegetable

Living in the Bay Area, we experience Indian Summers—a period of warm weather following the cool (and occasionally cold) summer season. Consequently, autumn graces us a bit later than in some other parts of the country. When the signs of fall do emerge, with a slight chill in the air and the changes in the colors of the leaves, I eagerly welcome the season with the quintessential and the classic fall vegetable—the beautiful golden butternut squash. I make it a star ingredient in my hearty, healthy Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup.

Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

butternut squash

Growing up in Pune in India, the only type of squash that I had seen or had was the Indian pumpkin a.k.a kaddu. After my introduction to butternut squash, I tend to use it in place of pumpkin in the traditional Maharashtrian recipes that I grew up eating, like the spicy curry or use it to put Indian spin on the classic Butternut Squash soup, turning it into a smooth and puréed, Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut squash is a vegetable that gains popularity during the fall and winter seasons, and fortunately, it is widely available here. With its delicate sweet taste and pleasantly soft texture, it becomes a versatile ingredient in soups, salads, and even pizzas! Beyond its deliciousness, butternut squash offers numerous health benefits as it is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

My Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

This year, I’ve come up with a new concoction – a chunky and creamy soup with butternut squash, as the key ingredient, along with chickpeas and some power greens (baby chard, baby kale and baby spinach) in light coconut milk curried broth. Crushed red pepper and freshly cracked black pepper add a nice kick to the sweet and mildly spiced coconut milk broth.

Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

This vegan and seasonal soup is super flavorful and nutritious! It’s quite easy to make – simply add the ingredients one by one into a pot and let it simmer away, filling your kitchen and your home with the warm aromas from garam masala and the sweet scent of butternut squash and coconut milk…aah! It’s ready in minutes and is not only great as a hearty soup and also doubles up as a stew when served over a bed of steamed basmati rice or gluten-free quinoa for a comforting meal.

Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

shortcuts to make it quick & easy

To make it easier on you, you can use precut or frozen cubes of butternut squash that are readily available at the grocery stores instead of peeling and cutting the squash on your own, which needs a bit of practice and can also be a bit time consuming. In addition, to speed up the process, using canned chickpeas works out very well. I always have a bag of baby spinach or some leafy greens like chard or baby kale, etc. in my refrigerator that I love to use. Its great for a vitamin boost and also adds a contrasting color and flavor to the soup or stew. 

Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

So cozy up and fill your belly with this delicious and heart warming soup with all the wonderful fall colors in a bowl! I have outlined step-by-step details below that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup

Indian-inspired Curried Butternut Squash & Chickpeas Soup


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

A seasonal, vegan soup with butternut squash, chickpeas & baby greens in a spiced coconut milk broth.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp coconut or any neutral oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubes (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (about 1/2 of 15.5 oz/439g can) (see Variations)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 14 oz/400 ml can of light coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls of baby greens (like baby spinach, power greens, baby kale, baby chard, etc.), roughly chopped
  • 1 medium green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 45 sprigs of cilantro, leaves and tender parts of stems, chopped, for garnish
  • crushed red pepper, for serving
  • fresh ground black pepper, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and when it starts shimmering, add the cumin, and mustard seeds, asafetida and the turmeric.
  • When the seeds splutter and the spices froth (in about 30 seconds), add in the cubed butternut squash along with the cooked chickpeas. Sauté for a 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the can of light coconut milk and stir combine well.
  • Season with salt and garam masala and and continue to heat uncovered, till it comes to a rolling boil, about 5 minutes.
  • Cook covered for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat till the cubes of squash are fully cooked.
  • Stir in the chopped leafy greens and stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes till the leafy greens soften and wilt.
  • Spoon into a bowl and serve hot, garnished with sliced green onions. Sprinkle with some red chili pepper flakes and crack fresh black pepper.
  • Alternatively, you can spoon it over steamed basmati rice or cooked quinoa.

Keywords: Weeknight Cooking, Quick & Easy, Comfort Foods, Healthy Recipes

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

Heat the coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and when it starts shimmering, add the cumin, and mustard seeds, asafetida and the turmeric.

Step: 2

When the seeds splutter and the spices froth (in about 30 seconds), add in the cubed butternut squash along with the cooked chickpeas. Sauté for a 2-3 minutes.

Step: 3

Pour in the can of light coconut milk and stir combine well.

Step: 4

Season with salt and garam masala and and continue to heat uncovered, till it comes to a rolling boil, about 5 minutes.

Step: 5

Cook covered for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat till the cubes of squash are fully cooked.

Step: 6

Stir in the chopped leafy greens and stir to combine.

Step: 7

Continue cooking on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes till the leafy greens soften and wilt.

Step: 8

Spoon into a bowl and serve hot, garnished with sliced green onions. Sprinkle with some red chili pepper flakes and crack fresh black pepper.

Step: 9

Alternatively, you can spoon it over steamed basmati rice or cooked quinoa.

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Can I use frozen butternut squash?

Absolutely! Save time by using precut fresh or frozen butternut squash that is readily available in the grocery stores.

Recipe Variations

Try another type of squash like buttercup, delicata or acorn squash to make the recipe. The great thing about these varieties is that you don’t need to peel the skin!

If you don’t like squash, you can substitute with cubed sweet potatoes or regular red skin or Yukon gold potatoes as well!

Try substituting chickpeas with red kidney or cannellini beans!

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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