Butternut Squash Soup & Sage Crostini

This Butternut Squash Soup spiced with red curry & lemongrass is a perfect weeknight meal or Thanksgiving appetizer. Excellent with sage crostini. Vegan.

Butternut squash soup & sage crostini

This soup recipe is a version of an old favorite. It’s not from my childhood or anything, but it was one of the first soup recipes I posted, and it’s become one of our most searched, pinned, and most often made recipes. It’s based on a spicy combination of coconut milk, red curry, and pumpkin.

As I was making it again a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but tweak a few things to make the recipe easier and more straightforward. I swapped butternut squash for the pumpkin and reduced the number of ingredients. If I’ve learned anything in three years, it’s that less is more, and simple is always better. Especially when you’re using really good seasonal ingredients.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini

Speaking of really great ingredients, it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Whole Foods – it’s five minutes from my house, and I shop there all the time. I was excited to hear from American Express that they were working in partnership with them on a new, amazing offer for the Blue Cash Card. To create excitement for the offer they asked me to make two dishes with seasonal ingredients available at Whole Foods, aka #2Ways2Percent. What does that mean? Right now when you use your enrolled Blue Cash Card from American Express when shopping at Whole Foods, you’ll get an extra 2% cash back.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini

The project: show 2 ways to use butternut squash. I knew I wanted to share my simplified soup recipe, and then I figured – what goes better with soup than crostini? These little crostini are topped with ricotta, roasted butternut squash, and crispy sage. Both of these recipes would make perfect starters for your Thanksgiving meal.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini

3.8 from 4 reviews
Butternut Squash Soup & Sage Crostini
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8 as an appetizer
For the soup:
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 4-inch pieces of lemongrass (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste* (see note)
  • One (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped & cubed
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, light or full-fat
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crostini
  • 12 small pieces of whole grain bread
  • 2 cups of ½-inch butternut squash cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • about 14 sage leaves (1 per piece plus a few extra)
  • A few tablespoons grapeseed oil (to fry the sage)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the soup:
  1. Heat a large pot to medium and add the coconut oil. Add the onion and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Smash the lemongrass (using the back of your knife) then add it whole to the pot along with the garlic, and curry paste. Cook until the onions are transluscent, then add the butternut squash cubes, another pinch of salt, and stir.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is very soft. (40-60 minutes depending on your squash).
  3. Remove large lemongrass pieces and pour everything into a high speed blender (you may have to work in batches), and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Make the crostini:
  1. Toss squash cubes with a drizzle of olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until the edges are golden brown and the cubes are tender - about 20 minutes.
  2. Fry the sage: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and coat the bottom with a high heat oil such as grapeseed oil. Once the oil has a few ripples, toss in the sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. (Test-fry 1 before you do them all). Remove and let them drain on a paper towel.
  3. Toast bread and top each piece with a spoonful of ricotta, a few butternut squash cubes, salt, pepper, red chile flakes & sage.
This is a great make-ahead soup - it actually tastes better on the second or third day.

*If you are sensitive to spice, start with less curry paste.

I was selected by American Express to contribute to the Blue Cash Card #2Ways2Percent campaign. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American Express are my own.

Marble & Wood Cheese Board from West Elm


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. johanne from digitalviews.me

    This such a perfect match for a roasted Turkey. Happy Thanksgiving in advance.

    • jeanine

      thanks, you too!

    • jeanine

      ha, me too – I could go for soup + bread any day of the week 🙂

  2. We make a similar crostini but now I think we need to start pairing it with that soup! perfection. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Paul from paulsfoodworld.com

    That looks so delicious especially the crostini

  4. Cherie from cherieedle.blogspot.com

    This looks so delicious!! Going to try it x

  5. I also really love Whole Foods – my old apartment was a 5 minute walk, and I would find myself there all the time (especially while procrastinating from writing papers) 🙂 I’ve made the previous version of this soup and loved it, cannot wait to try it again! These crostini are also such a nice pairing!

    • jeanine

      Ha – I know the feeling :). Hope you like this version – I tried to make it easier by taking out oven-roasting step (it all happens on the stove now).

  6. OMG, hurray for red curry paste! I love using it in soups with or without frying depending on how intense I want it to be.

  7. claire from southbynorth.net

    Looks delish! You have inspired me to make crostinis for a dinner party this Saturday.

  8. Yum!! This looks exceptionally delicious. Your photos are so vibrant. Thank you for sharing!

  9. I love the simplicity of this soup and that crostini sounds like a perfect pairing. I have two butternuts on the counter right now and I’m adding these crostini to my lunch menu this week. (PS. We just got a Whole Foods down the street and I’m SO EXCITED!)

  10. Oh my! Both the soup and the crostini look delicious! And your photos are gorgeous- as always!

    • jeanine

      I didn’t see, thanks 🙂

  11. Larry

    Cut down the red curry paste to 1tbs. Tasted the end results and could hardly breath. Way too hot! Do those of you who like it have any taste buds?

    If you know how too cut the heat, I’ld appreciate knowing.

    • jeanine

      Hi Larry – what brand of curry paste did you use? Maybe some of them vary in spice – I started with 1 tablespoon (the Thai Kitchen brand) and I didn’t find mine to be very spicy at all. You could add more squash or coconut to dilute it, or try a few splashes of vinegar. (vinegar counteracts heat).

  12. Mary

    Thank you for posting the crostini recipe. They look delicious. I love crostini because you can put so many different toppings on them.

    I read your “About” page and it said you live in Austin, TX. So do I! Actually a bit farther out to the west in the Hill Country. Probably about 45 minutes or so outside of Austin. I’m from New York City but met my husband at the Austin Airport while traveling…about 20 years ago. And soon after became a Texan!

    Your recipes and photographs are delightful. I have enjoyed following you.

    All the best,

  13. sylvie from cookmemaybe.com

    What a nice combination of flavors and textures ! These crostini are so appetizing, I imagine myself combining crispy crostini with this creamy soup and it makes me dreaming…

  14. natalie

    Hi There, This is such a beautiful site! So happy I found it! I’m allergic to coconut, is their a substitution that you can think of for coconut oil & coconut milk?

    • Ines

      I used a bit of almond milk since I didn’t have coconut milk and the taste was still good! Although I used mostly veggie broth and a bit of milk when I did it. To have an idea of the proportions I used: I covered the butternut cubes with the broth and then added about 1/2 of almond milk. So I didn’t add much but the texture and taste were there!
      I hope this helps.

  15. Omg the texture of the soup is so nice. Thanks for the recipe :). Squash is a bit expensive in where i live now tho 🙁

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.