Cream of Butternut soup

February 20, 2011  •  Category:


Egyptians are famous throughout the Middle East for their irrepressible sense of humor; during these momentous events of the past few weeks, jokes fused from the Egyptian street, one after the other.

Here is one:

Mubarak goes to heaven where he meets former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat. (The first was killed by poisoning and the second was assassinated).

“What was the cause of your death, poison or assassination?” they ask Mubarak, who replies: “Facebook.”



With this soup made with coconut milk, I figured here is my chance to step out of my comfort zone (I would have used cow’s milk).

Sure glad I did: This combo is dynamite! Very creamy, and the two flavors are a match made in heaven. Added some cilantro pesto to give it some zing, a sprinkle of toasted pecans and butternut (or pumpkin) seeds, for a moment of creamy delight.


  • 1 Butternut squash, about 3 pounds
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro pesto
  • 3 Tablespoons of pecans and pumpkin seeds
  • salt, black pepper to taste



  1. Cut the butternut in small pieces and scrape the seeds and filaments off. Place in a pyrex pan, add 2 cups of water and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Cool the butternut pieces, peel them and place in a food processor with the water they have cooked in (up to 1 1/2 cups) and the can of coconut milk, some salt and pepper and the cilantro pesto. Process till the squash is creamy and smooth, taste for seasoning and pour into a tureen.
  3. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped toasted pecans and pumpkin seeds.

To make the cilantro pesto:

Chop a couple of tablespoons of cilantro leaves as fine as possible. Mash 3 cloves of garlic with a dash of salt in a mortar; place the cilantro and the garlic in a small frying pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant but not brown. Remove and drop into the soup.

Recipe adapted form Chef Virginie Guitard.


41 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Peter says:

    We all need some humour, even in the darkest of times…funny one! Love squash soups where savory toys with sweet – a delicate balance. Nice touch with the pecans!

  2. Caffettiera says:

    I love butternut squash soup, never tried with coconut milk though, so I’ll have to venture for a trip out of my confort zone as well. The picture is really clean and pretty.

  3. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Dynamite all right, this recipe has a lot of goodness going on! Good enough to give up a presidency for even, I may suggest 🙂

  4. Claudia says:

    The color in that soup is astounding. I can see coconut milk and butternut squash marrying in the most delicious way. Enjoyed the joke – having been riveted to the news the last few weeks, I keep my fingers and toes crossed and send lots of good thoughts to the people trying to establish new ways of governing that benefits all populations.

  5. Carol says:

    The flavors in your soup sound perfect together, and I love the toasted nuts as well! It’s a delicious looking soup, great picture!

  6. The Nervous Cook says:

    This sounds perfect: Simple, warm, delicious. I’m such a sucker for butternut squash, especially in soup — I’m going to have to try this this week!

  7. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I love that you used coconut milk instead of cream which is what I typically encounter. I’ve been trying to incorporate coconut milk more often, and I love the flavors with sweet squash.

  8. Food Jihadist says:

    I was becoming very disillusioned by the fact that no food blogger who did “Middle Eastern” food had said wa la thing about what was going on in Egypt. Then I was reminded by my boyfriend that I hadn’t done a “Tunisian Food” post after the revolution in Tunisia, and I kinda shut up.

    Thank you for saying something. What is going on in the Middle East is tremendous, and the truth is that a food blog can never really do it justice. Still, thanks for saying something about Egypt. At the very least, it makes me feel a little better.

    And they do tell great jokes!

    P.S. As always, what a lovely recipe. It’s nice to know that someone else is cooking their way through politics.

  9. oum mouncifrayan says:

    c’est une belle version très délicieuse! bravo

  10. Dana says:

    What color! You always make such beautiful food! I bet this soup is velvety goodness in a bowl

  11. Ivy says:

    Ha, ha the power of Facebook!! I’d love a bowl of that creamy, sweet soup.

  12. Rosa says:

    A divine soup! What a great combination of flavors.



  13. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    My goodness that colour is so beautiful! I can’t wait for the cooler weather here in Sydney so I can enjoy all the beautiful soups and stews again 🙂

  14. Priya says:

    Wat a bowl of droolworthy soup, yumm!

  15. Chiara says:

    I love recipes with very few ingredients. They let you appreciate the flavors of the ingredients in a better way. And butternut squash deserves that, it’s one of my favorite vegetables!

  16. Steve @ HPD says:

    I used to be intimidated by pesto … not sure why … but then i realized that you could make it in small batches with a small chopper or processor. But your method here is even easier. Thanks!

  17. Diane says:

    Butternut soup is my very most favourite soup. I have never tried with coconut milk though, have made a note of this. Diane

  18. Louise says:

    Coconut & Butternut, sounds like a match made in heaven. It sure looks dreamy…love the pecan touch:)

    Thanks for sharing, Joumana

  19. deana says:

    That was a really wonderful joke. My thoughts and prayers are with those in Libya and Dubai who aren’t doing as well… and let’s not forget Iran… whoa… so many brave young people.

    Soup looks wonderful. I never thought of coconut milk with squash… it would make it so rich and inviting.

  20. Oui, Chef says:

    This looks just fabulous, you can see the creaminess in the photo, gotta love coconut milk for that richness….YUM! – s

  21. Katerina says:

    Humour is always a good way not only to lighten things up but also shows a person with great self knowledge. Combining squash and coconut oil is surely unusual and I believe the end result must have been very rich in flavor.

  22. Sophie says:

    I know that butternut squash & coconut milk go so well together!! I love the added cilantro pesto & the peacns, adds a nice crunch!

    Yummie! I recently moved my blog to Come over @ my blog & check it out! You must update your RSS too!

  23. domi says:

    Bonsoir Joumana, ce velouté et superbe, on dirait une pièce d’ or qui fait briller ton talent culinaire. Ce soir j’ ai vu un superbe reportage sur le Liban et j’ ai aussitôt penser à toi et ta délicieuse cuisine. Bisous et passe une douce soirée

  24. Julie says:

    Humm cette soupe a l’air très crémeuse et savoureuse. J’aime beaucoup cette douceur.

  25. Suman Singh says:

    Soup looks the color, creaminess from the coconut milk..mmm…absolutely yummie!

  26. Jenn @LeftoverQueen says:

    Definitely a delicious soup – the color is phenomenal and makes me want to scarf down the whole bowl!

  27. SYLVIA says:

    This smooth and warming soup is a comforting dish, and a festive first course. The nuts add crunch, and a lot of style. Who says butternut soup can’t be enjoyed year around. joumana, the joke was very amusing.

  28. The AmerArab Wife says:

    This soup sounds wonderful. I love butternut squash…there is something good to appreciate about being in America, as I never found it in the Middle East. I also just got a big bag of pecans from Hungry Husband’s grandmother, so I will definitely be making this soon.

  29. tigerfish says:

    Love the additional touch of pecans and pumpkin seeds to the butternut squash soup! An interplay of textures 🙂

  30. Banana Wonder says:

    Haha good joke! I’m glad you “stepped” out of your comfort zone (although you make some pretty daring things I’d be way too intimated to try). I actually like the coconut milk use because I fast from animal products for Greek Orthodox lent and can really use this! YUM!

  31. Sweet Artichoke says:

    Butternut pumkin and coconut milk is a great combination, and the coriander pesto sounds divine!

  32. Devaki says:

    What excellent humor! We all need more of this and the flavors in the soups are fantastic – is there anything better than great eats with a few laughs! Thanks dear Joumana 🙂

    PS – Coconut milk is genius 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  33. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Love squash soup. The colour is vibrant and the coconut and pumpkin seeds would breath life into this one.

  34. FOODESSA says:

    First off…the photo is stunning…I’d want to dive right in ;o)

    I make butternut based soups all the time. I’ve used regular cow’s milk as well as almond milk with success…however, coconut milk shall definitely be my next try. Thanks for the inspiration Joumana.

    Flavourful wishes,

  35. Magic of Spice says:

    I have recently fallen in love with coconut milk, it does add a delightful flavor. This is a beautiful soup and I adore the add of cilantro pest, very nice touch 🙂

  36. Louise says:

    I do love a pumpkin soup, but don’t think I’ve ever made it with butternut. I usually use a variety called Jap/Kent. I absolutely adore coriander too. So love the coriander pesto idea. I will definitely try this soon.

  37. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Love the joke and the squash and coconut combo. I may have crafted the joke around “squashing Mubarek” though : )

  38. Lori says:

    THere is something so delicious about squash and coconut together. Your soup looks like silk!

  39. Harold Burton says:

    I love the flavour of caprese so this stuffed chicken recipe is just perfect for me. Definitely perfect for a delicious weeknight dinner.. thanks for sharing the great recipe!

  40. Kelly Hubbard says:

    These meatballs are special! I am the biggest fan of meatballs so I can tell when one is amazing!

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