Indian-Spiced Squash Soup with Crispy Quinoa

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Indian Spiced Squash Soup with Crispy Quinoa

Calling all winter squash! It’s about to turn to spring here in Indiana, and our pantry is full of random varieties of squashes we’ve collected from the market all winter long. We can’t wait to bust out spring produce like pea shoots and asparagus, but it’s not quite that time yet. Here’s a recipe for any of you looking to use some squash in the pantry before spring is here.

Inspired by a mini Hubbard squash from Randy of Stout’s Melody Acres, we created this recipe on a whim with our friend Erin for a dinner with the lovely Annie of Annie’s Eats and her husband, Ben. Along with some of Randy’s delicata and butternut squash, we came up with this creamy spiced soup.

It’s seasoned with Indian-style spices (curry powder, garam masala, and cumin), mixed with a bit of coconut milk, and topped crispy quinoa and pepitas to garnish. It was the perfect main course for a relaxed evening, with just the right amount of spice, complexity, and heat. We served it with whole wheat chapati and a side salad. I must say it (and the crispy quinoa topping) are one of my favorites to come out of our kitchen this year.

You know those recipes that are special not just because of the taste but the wonderful company they were enjoyed with? This is one of those.

In the meantime, I’m taking off for Cambodia and Laos tomorrow! I’m headed back to the Green Mango Cafe where we wrote our benefit cookbook last year, to teach cooking and English, hang out with the young women there, and do some photo work.  I’m so excited to share my time with you; I’m hoping to update our Facebook and Instagram while I’m there, and post few updates on the blog when I return. Check out the cookbook if you’re interested – all the proceeds go to the program, which benefits at-risk women in Cambodia. Thanks to all of you for your support of this program – it means so much to us!


Indian-Spiced Squash Soup with Crispy Quinoa

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 6


  • 4 pounds whole squash (butternut, acorn, delicata, kabocha, and so forth)
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • For the garnish: Fresh cilantro and Crispy Quinoa


  1. Make the Crispy Quinoa.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the squash. Remove the flesh from the skin, and use an immersion blender, blender or food processor to pureed it. Measure out 5 cups.
  3. Mince 2 shallots. In a large stockpot, add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
  4. Stir in 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne to coat the shallots. Then add the 5 cups squash puree, 1 quart vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1 cup coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  6. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, a drizzle of extra coconut milk, and Crispy Quinoa.


You could also substitute roasted and pureed sweet potato for the squash here; we haven’t tried it but it would likely be just as tasty.


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  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I am so obsessed with crispy quinoa! I usually have it in stuffed acorn squash, but I love the idea of using it as a squash soup garnish! Looks so good.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I make butternut squash soup all the time, and I love including coconut milk in it. It’s so creamy! I think the Indian spices sound delicious, and that crispy quinoa is very intriguing. I have some, so I think I need to give this a try!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

    We still have squash in our cellar–delicata, butternut and acorn. I’ve been making so many soups/roasts/purées with them and I’m ALMOST tired of the stuff. I love your version here with coconut milk and that amazing quinoa granola garnish though.

    And safe travels to you, Sonja!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Thank you, Laura! Agreed about the squash overload — we took a break for a while, so were ready for one last hurrah :)

  • Reply
    sara forte
    March 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

    looks so tasty! I haven’t been seeing them at our markets anymore, but I found one yesterday (that I am hoping is not water logged!) and I’ve been thinking soup. Love how interesting this looks and Oh, that crunchy topping! Safe travels!!!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Thank you so much, Sara! It’s nearing the end of the season even here in Indiana, but somehow we still had a bunch in our pantry (I’m always amazed at how long they keep). Good luck with your squash!!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    March 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I love the sound of this! Especially with that crispy quinoa!

  • Reply
    Cookin Canuck
    March 15, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Not only am I a fan of all things that are “Indian spiced”, but that crispy quinoa is a brilliant idea for a topping!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I’m really wishing this soup would appear for dinner tonight! Gorgeous. I hope you are having a most wonderful time in Cambodia/Laos and I can’t wait to read more about your experience this time around.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Kathryne! I had a wonderful time and can’t wait to share more about it soon! Now to the photo editing… :)

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