This rich and creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup is so cozy and delicious. Packed with nutrients, this soup is easy to throw together in your pressure cooker or stove top (instructions provided) and perfect for weeknight or a holiday spread.
Hey Internet, is there any soup quite as autumnal as butternut squash soup? I truly love this butternut squash soup with carrot and ginger, which is why I’m sharing it with you, of course.
What’s funny is that I’m actually not a big fan of butternut squash. It’s too sweet and rich for me, and generally I prefer lighter flavors (thus my obsession with delicata squash).
However, I first tried butternut squash soup at my brother’s place for Thanksgiving back in 2011. His girlfriend at the time made it and I fell in love with it. I think she put carrots in it, which add a nice earthiness and mellow the intense sweetness of the butternut.
The ginger is a nice little zing, and you can add however much you like. If you don’t like things spicy, add just a tiny bit of ginger root or powdered ginger.
I recommend adding some coconut milk at the end, but it will be just as creamy without.
There’s something about this rich, creamy, soup that’s so comforting and just so… fall! Maybe it’s because it resembles the colors on the trees, or the fact that winter squash is just so cheap right now but I’ve made this soup several times already and it’s only early October.
This soup is also truly simple to make in either the Instant Pot or stovetop. Just cook until everything is soft, then blend with either an immersion blender or pour into your countertop blender. That’s it!
Okay, enough raving about this delicious and easy soup. Let’s talk how to make it.
What You’ll Need
Besides a large butternut squash, a couple of carrots, and a bit of ginger (fresh or powdered is fine), you’ll need just a few other things.
A base of sauteed onions and garlic really takes this soup to a whole new level without much effort. I like vidalia or white onions for this soup, and use as much garlic as you like. I recommend about 3-4 cloves because I really like garlic, but feel free to reduce or increase as you prefer.
You’ll need vegetable broth to cook the soup in. I recommend using reduced sodium vegetable broth or no salt added vegetable stock (homemade if you have!) and adding your own salt at the end. This helps you really control the sodium level.
Finally, the only spice or herb I added was dried thyme. You could certainly add others, but I really didn’t think it was necessary.
Two optional additions:
I recommend saving the seeds from the squash, roasting them (with salt and spices like garlic powder and smoked paprika, if desired), and topping the soup with them. I’ll give you instructions later on if you’ve never roasted squash seeds before--so delicious!!
A can of coconut milk amps the creaminess of this soup and adds a lovely flavor, but it’s honestly pretty creamy even without it.
What Substitutions Can I Make?
You can actually use any type of winter squash in this soup! Use pumpkin, acorn, delicata, carnival, or kabocha squash. Just peel it and seed it before cubing and cooking.
If you’d like to omit the carrots, you can and the soup will still be good. You could also replace it with another root vegetable like parsnips or even turnip for a little spice. Potato or Sweet potato would also be great in this soup--it’s very versatile so get creative!
Not into ginger or spice? Leave it out and this recipe will still be great.
Onions or Garlic
Feel free to substitute the powdered form of these staples or leave them out entirely according to your preference.
Although optional, if you want to make your soup creamy but don’t want to use coconut milk, you have a few options.
Almond milk and other carton milks may be a little thin for this soup. However, to use them simply reduce the amount of broth you use and add back the non-dairy milk of choice little by little at the end, stirring until you get your desired consistency.
You could also add cashew cream instead. Blend soaked cashews with a bit of water and it will make a cream. Add this to the soup at the end for the same effect as the coconut.
Intimidated by Winter Squash? Don’t Be
I used to HATE peeling vegetables (and sometimes I’m still too lazy), but ever since I got this vegetable peeler, it’s so easy. This peeler also has a julienne function. It’s pretty great, and can’t be beat at its price point.
I couldn’t believe that this peeler made such quick work of a BUTTERNUT SQUASH. Amazing.
A note on cutting butternut squash: a sharp knife matters. I don’t have very expensive knives (see my relatively inexpensive knife set), but we keep them sharpened and that helps tremendously.
If you still find it difficult to cut, microwave it for a few minutes. It’s all getting blended up anyway :)
How to Make Butternut Squash in the Instant Pot
Note: this recipe will work in any pressure cooker, but buttons may be called by other names on non-Instant Pot brand pressure cookers (and in some cases on other models of the Instant Pot brand!). Consult your manual for any questions based on your specific brand of pressure cooker.
The Instant Pot I’m using is an Instant Pot Duo 6qt. You will need a 6qt or larger to make this soup. If you have a smaller pressure cooker, halve the recipe and you should be good.
If your Instant Pot has a ‘Saute function’, saute your onions, ginger (if using fresh), and garlic (in a few tablespoons of water, broth, or oil if you use that) before adding everything else in.
If your Instant Pot or pressure cooker does not have that function, you can either saute your onions and garlic on the stove top and add them in, which adds more flavor to your soup, or you can just chuck everything in the pot–it will still be delicious.
Next, add the cubed butternut squash, sliced carrot, vegetable broth, and half of the dried thyme. Stir well, close the lid, set the pressure valve to ‘SEALING’ and cook on high pressure (or manual) for 12 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes after the pressure cooker is done. Then, using a cooking spoon, carefully switch the pressure valve to ‘VENTING’ and allow the rest of the pressure to release.
When it is safe, for me that’s when the pressure indicated is in the down position (please consult your manual!) remove the lid and give the soup a stir.
Skip to the “Blending the Soup” section for further instructions.
How to Make Butternut Squash on the Stove
Start by sauteing your onions over medium high heat in a large pot with a splash of water, broth, or oil if you use it. After about 3-4 minutes and the onions become somewhat translucent, add the garlic and ginger. Saute for another minute.
Next, add your cubed squash, carrot, vegetable broth, and half of the dried thyme. Stir, put on a lid, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cook on medium high for around 20-30 minutes, until the squash and carrot are fork-tender (meaning you can easily break one with the side of your fork). The amount of time the vegetables take to cook is dependent on how small the pieces are.
Now you’re ready to move onto the “Blending the Soup” section.
Blending the Soup
If using an immersion blender, also called a hand blender or stick blender, simply stick the blender in the pot and blend until smooth. You can leave chunks if you like, but I prefer it smooth.
The immersion blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It’s annoying and can be risky pouring a pot of hot soup in a blender. Sometimes it all won’t fit and you have to do it in batches.
Using an immersion blender is safe, easy, and quick.
Anyway, blend your soup, then finish it off by adding the rest of the dried thyme and coconut milk if you wish.
How to Roast Squash Seeds
You can easily roast up the squash seeds. It doesn’t take long to separate them from the membrane while the soup cooks, and it’s honestly so worth it.
Rinse your seeds and toss them in salt and any desired spices. I like to use garlic powder and smoked paprika.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at a low temperature. I like to bake mine at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius). You can also just stick them in the toaster oven if you have one--sometimes I do this with mine, when I’m not photographing a recipe because my toaster oven tray is not pretty looking, lol.
Roast the seeds for about 5-10 minutes, stirring and tasting halfway through until they’re as crunchy as you like them.
These will last on the counter top, so cover them and snack on them for a few days if you like. If they last. I usually turn around and they’re gone--Mr. Zardyplants loves snacking on nuts and seeds. Me, I look at a jar of nuts and gain 5 pounds (because I can’t stop myself).
How to Serve Butternut Squash Soup
I highly recommend topping the soup with those roasted butternut squash seeds we just talked about. They’re crunchy and packed with nutrients.
But you can also top your soup with homemade croutons, crunchy roasted chickpeas, crackers, or a little fresh thyme.
Add a swirl of coconut cream or cashew cream if you’re feeling fancy.
I also recommend some toasted (or not) French bread or crackers to dip in your soup. Yummy and cozy!
What Goes Well With Butternut Squash Soup
Honestly, anything and everything. But since it’s fall and this is my favorite time of the year, I have a few relevant suggestions for you.
First and foremost, mashed potatoes and gravy. Now this sounds like a comfort meal for sure!
If you’re more into soup and a salad, try this soup with my pomegranate salad featuring oranges, pecans, and an insanely good tahini mustard dressing.
Want More Vegan Soups?
I love love love soup. It’s just easy, warm, comforting, healthy, and satisfying. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes!
- Instant Pot Corn Chowder Soup
- Matzo Ball Soup
- Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup
- Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Vegan Grilled Cheese
- Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Lasagna Soup
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. It’s rare that we’ll both lick the bowl, but we did!
We had a lot of leftovers from testing this recipe a few times to make sure it was perfect for you, and every day we were excited to eat more of the leftovers--it is quite a feat to make Mr. Zardyplants like leftovers so much!
This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup is:
- And perfect for meal prep or a holiday meal. It’s a crowd pleaser!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!