Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds sweet winter squash cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks. (I used 1 butternut and 1 kabocha...calabaza also would work)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (or cubeb pepper)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch of ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half and half (optional)
  • 4 ounces shredded or crumbled goat cheese, goat gouda, or feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon or more harissa paste (a red chile paste you can find at a local middle eastern store or at chefshop.com - or substitute any red chile paste - or use 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
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Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

Time: 15 minutes prep, 50 minutes cook
Servings: 6


  1. In a large soup pot over medium low heat, add the oil, onion, and 1 tsp of coarse salt, cover and steam for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft.
  2. While the onion is softening, peel and chop the squash. Add the squash, cover, and steam for another 20 minutes. (You can place a piece of parchment paper over the squash and under the lid if you have it handy).
  3. Add the tomato paste, spices, four cups of hot water, and bring to a boil then simmer until the squash is tender, about another 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. I used a braun hand blender to puree the soup in the soup pot. If you don't have one, just pour the soup into a blender and puree in batches. Add the yogurt, half and half, 2/3 of the cheese, and the harissa or other red pepper to the last back of soup that you puree. Then mix it all back together. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and add bits of crumbled cheese and fresh cilantro on top. Enjoy!!!
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6 votes | 2333 views

This is a fantastic winter soup to serve at home or for a party. It's got the sweetness of butternut squash soups you've had in the past, but with some spice and salt to counterbalance the sweetness. I loved it and hope you will too.This is adapted from Paula Wolfert's The Food of Morocco.


  • Linda Hanson
    March 27, 2012
    yummy comfort food. This soup was delicious!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Ritz Martin
      April 7, 2012
      This is beautiful! I'll serve this at my next Moroccan meal.
      • Smokinhotchef
        April 28, 2012
        Hey J Spot! this recipe looks amazing! I really enjoy the warming spice notes of Moroccan foods. My mom loves squash and soups and this would be perfect for our Mother's Day dinner's first course!
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!