Squash, Sweet Potato & Mandarin Soup blends healthy vegetables, orangey citrus notes and creamy, dairy-free coconut milk. Eye popping and luxurious.
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 good”. 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. Anyway, I played around with proportions and came up with a recipe which my husband agrees is delicious.
Despite the fact that it’s dairy free, the soup feels rich and silky. The mandarin adds a hint of tropical flare that balances beautifully with the coconut milk. And the orange colour is gorgeous. I’m obsessed with colours on a plate. 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.
The recipe includes sweet potato, butternut squash, mandarin (zest and juice), fresh ginger, onion, broth, garlic, coconut milk and some optional seasonings. I used sriracha for a bit of heat and a pinch of nutmeg. Needless to say, you can tailor this to your tastes – see below.
I like to serve this kind of vegan 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.
Tailor to Your Taste
- Use Clementines (which mostly have no seeds) or Tangerines instead of Mandarin oranges. If you find clementine zest bitter, you can substitute it with orange zest.
- Add curry powder or curry paste.
- Add sage or thyme.
- Add chopped carrots for even more healthiness and colour.
- 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 acts as a thickener, you might have to add a bit more broth at the end to thin it out.
Shortcuts (to make soup in under 30 minutes)
- Use pre-cut and peeled squash and sweet potato. 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.
- Definitely. Keeps in refrigerator for 4-5 days. And can be frozen.
Squash, Sweet Potato & Mandarin Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions (1 medium onion)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (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 broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated (or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger)
- 4 mandarins or clementines (zest and juice)
- salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp. salt).
- 1 can coconut milk (about 2 cups)
- OPTIONAL: 1/2-1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce; pinch nutmeg; 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
- GARNISH: Chopped cilantro or parlsey; pecan pieces or pepitas; or pea shoots
- SAUTE VEGETABLES: Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan to medium high. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add diced squash, sweet potato and garlic. Saute while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- SIMMER SOUP: Add broth, mandarin zest and juice, ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- PUREE SOUP AND FINISH: Use immersion blender to puree 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 in bowls, mini cups or mugs, sprinkled with garnishes as desired.
Other butternut squash soups you might like: