Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup (with Mandarins)
Sweet potato and butternut squash soup with mandarins blends healthy vegetables, orange-y citrus notes and creamy, dairy-free coconut milk.
Eye popping and luxurious. Make this delicious soup in under 30 minutes with a couple of good shortcuts.
My good friend Nicky from Montreal emailed me a recipe she created last week and said “you have to try this – it turned out really well”. Nic, being a wing-it cook, did not actually give me a recipe, but she did list the ingredients she used – or most of them.
I played around with proportions and came up with a recipe which my husband agrees is delicious.
You can also check out a couple of yummy variations like our cozy squash and apple soup or our Thai-inspired butternut squash soup. Both vegetarian soups with great depth of flavor.
Ingredient Notes – Tailored To Your Taste
This healthy vegan soup recipe includes sweet potato, butternut squash, mandarins (zest and juice), fresh ginger, onion, broth, garlic, coconut milk and some optional seasonings.
The sweet potato acts as a thickener to make a full-bodied rich flavor soup.
Veggies: You can add chopped carrots for even more healthiness and color.
Mandarins: The mandarins add a hint of tropical flare and subtle sweetness that balances beautifully with the coconut milk. And the orange color is gorgeous. You can substitute them with clementines (which mostly have no seeds) or Tangerines. If you find clementine zest bitter, you can use orange zest instead.
Seasonings: Add warm spices like curry powder or nutmeg if you like. Or try savory flavors like sage or thyme. Consider sriracha or red pepper flakes for heat.
Dairy: Despite the fact that the soup is dairy free, it feels rich and silky. If you’re not a fan or coconut milk or can’t digest it, you can add half and half cream (or a splash of heavy cream) instead – or just leave it out.
Garnish: I garnished the soup with roasted pecan pieces for added texture and flavor, but lots of other garnishes would work as well such as cilantro, grated apple, chopped roasted cashews or pistachios. It’s also great with homemade croutons.
Don’t worry about exact quantities of vegetables – a bit more or less onion, potato, squash is fine. Just add sufficient broth to cover the vegetables before the simmer.
If you use a lot more sweet potato which thickens the soup, you might have to add a bit more broth at the end to thin it out.
Step by step instructions
Sauté veggies, then add broth and mandarin juice and zest, bring to a boil, lower to medium heat (or medium-low) and simmer until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes.
Blend the soup with an immersion hand blender. Add coconut milk and seasonings, adjusting them to your taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve with garnishes you like.
Instant pot instructions are in the recipe notes, but it won’t save you a lot of time (especially if you used precut squash) because of time it takes to come to pressure.
Clementines are a type of mandarin. Both mandarins and clementines are easier to peel than oranges. All clementines are seedless (some mandarins are not) and are slightly sweeter than mandarins.
Yes, very. They are a bit carb-y but have many other benefits. According to live science, they are rich in antioxidants, more nutritious than yams, high in vitamin A and C, have good fiber, contain no fat, are relatively low in sodium and low calorie compared to white potatoes.
This is the hardest part of the recipe (unless you shortcut it by buying a precut squash). Here’s a good tutorial on how to cut butternut squash by Gimme Some Oven.
Both the mandarins and sweet potato add sweetness to the soup.
With these shortcuts, you can make this butternut squash & sweet potato soup in under 30 minutes.
- Use peeled and pre-cut butternut squash and sweet potato chunks, now available at many mainstream grocery stores in the produce department. They’re more expensive, but a big time saver.
- Use frozen store-bought cubes of fresh garlic and ginger or use powdered versions in a pinch.
- Store leftover soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Freezes well for 2-3 months.
How to serve the soup
Obviously as a regular soup, but I also like to serve this soup in mini cups or shot glasses as an appetizer as no spoons are required. Just warm it up before hand, pour it into a coffee thermos and let guests help themselves.
Other healthy butternut squash recipes to check out
- quinoa and butternut squash salad
- butternut squash salad cups
- squash curry (30 minutes)
- butternut squash salad with warm cinnamon dressing
- butternut squash noodles stir fry
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Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup (with Mandarins)
- immersion blender (or regular blender)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions (1 small-medium onion)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced, Note 2 (about 5 cups)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons) or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 1/2 cup vegetable stock or vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated (or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger)
- 4 mandarins or clementines (zest and juice), Note 1
- salt and black pepper to taste (about 1 tsp. salt).
- 1 can coconut milk (about 2 cups)
- OPTIONAL: 1/2-1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (or a pinch of red pepper flakes); pinch of nutmeg; 1-2 teaspoons curry powder.
- GARNISH: Chopped cilantro, fresh thyme or parlsey; pecan pieces or pepitas (pumpkin seeds); or pea shoots
- SAUTE VEGETABLES : Heat olive oil in a large pot to medium high. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add diced squash, sweet potato and garlic. Sauté while stirring for 2-3 minutes. Note 3 for instant pot version.
- SIMMER SOUP: Add broth, mandarin zest and juice, ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low to low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- PUREE SOUP AND FINISH: Use immersion blender to purée soup. Blend or stir in coconut milk. Add sriracha, nutmeg or curry powder, if using, to your taste. Adjust seasonings, adding more mandarin/clementine juice if you like. Serve blended soup in bowls, mini cups or mugs, sprinkled with garnishes as desired.
- Substitute for mandarins: clementines. If neither is available, use a fresh orange, juice and zest.
- Butternut squash and sweet potato shortcut: Use peeled and pre-cut butternut squash and sweet potato. They’re more expensive, but a big time saver.
- How to make the soup in an instant pot. Press sauté function and let heat up. Add oil and veggies. Sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds. Turn sauté function off. Add broth and mandarin juice and zest and seasonings (not coconut milk). Set pressure cooker to High Pressure for 10 minutes. Place lid on and turn knob to Sealing. Once finished cooking, do a quick release, taking care not to burn yourself from the steam. When button drops, you can safely take off lid. Purée soup with immersion blender in the instant pot. Add coconut milk and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Make ahead: Store leftover soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Freezes well for 2-3 months.