Vegan Mexican Squash Soup

Creamy kabocha squash with a Yucatán-style combination of flavors, this Vegan Mexican Squash Soup will warm your tummy on a chilly day, and provides vital nutrients too! With roasted winter squash, apples, and onion with a pepita-ancho paste and creamy coconut milk, it’s vegan, gluten free, and ready in about an hour!

2 bowls of vegan Mexican winter squash soup garnished with fresh mint alongside copper spoons, print napkin, and corn muffins.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration and Yucatán Cooking

I recently purchased “Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition” by David Sterling. This book is the winner of the James Beard Foundation Best Cookbook of the Year Award, 2015, the James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook Award, 2015, and The Art of Eating Prize for Best Food Book of the Year, 2015.

This amazing book is a culinary journey through the Yucátan Peninsula, documenting its places, its people, and its food. Until I moved to the Rio Grande Valley, with its plethora of tropical produce and seafood, I knew little of Yucatecan cuisine.

What constitutes Yucatán cooking?

From what I’ve been able to glean from my research, fresh ingredients, spice pastes, chiles, beans,tomatoes, and corn define the cuisine. I’m in love. See Yucatecan Cuisine for more information!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

  • kabocha squash – You can substitute pumpkin or butternut squash.
  • onion – Red, yellow, white, sweet will all work.
  • 1 apple – Any variety is fine. You can substitute a pear. It adds natural sweetness to the soup.
  • dried ancho chiles – Guajillo and New Mexico red chiles work as well.
  • pepitas – You can buy them roasted, or you can buy them raw and toast them in a pan.
  • achiote/annatto paste – This is a solid paste with achiote seeds, cumin, garlic, etc. that can be found in the Latino foods section of large markets.
  • garlic
  • cinnamon stick
  • Mexican oregano
  • butter Obviously, butter is not vegan. However, there are good plant-based butters available. You can also make vegan butter at home. You can also omit it and use additional olive or coconut oil.
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • coconut milk – I use lite coconut milk, but full-fat is fine. Of course it adds fat and calories along with the extra delicious flavor! Keep in mind, this is NOT DAIRY-FREE MILK IN A CARTON!
  • broth/stock – Use your preferred broth or stock. Obviously, you need vegetable broth if you desire a vegan soup.
  • fresh herbs for garnish – We really like fresh mint, but cilantro or parsley are also good options.
Ingredients for the kabocha squash soup including squash, apple, onion, spices, ancho chile, pepitas, on a wood cutting board.
Not pictured: Garlic

🔪 Instructions

Kabocha squash wedges, apple wedges, and onion wedges on a copper baking sheet.

Roast the vegetables – Preheat the oven to 400°. Arrange squash, apple, and onion on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until the squash is tender and has some caramelization on the edges. You should have some color on the apple and onion at this point as well. Allow the squash to cool before removing the peel.

2 ancho chiles with stems and seeds removed soaking in boiling water in a white ramekin.

Prepare the ancho chiles – Toast the chiles in a dry pan until fragrant. After removing the stems and seeds, cut into pieces, add the chiles in a medium-sized bowl. Cover with boiling water. Soak until softened (about 10 minutes).

A food processor with ancho chiles, pepitas, achiote, Mexican oregano, and cinnamon prior to processing.

Prepare the achiote/pepitas paste – Toast the pepitas if you are using raw. Add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the drained ancho chile pieces (reserve the liquid). Add the achiote/annatto paste, cinnamon stick, Mexican oregano, and salt.

The pepitas/ancho/achiote paste in the food processor ready to add to the Mexican squash soup.

Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined, adding the chile liquid to make a thick paste.

A Dutch oven with the roasted onion, garlic, butter, and olive oil sizzling.

Sauté the aromatics – Sauté the onions and garlic in (vegan) butter and olive oil over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.

The squash and achiote/chile paste sauteing in the Dutch oven with red spatula.

After the onions and garlic have sautéed for a minute or two, add the roasted squash and recado rojo (achiote/chile paste). Continue to sauté another 2-3 minutes.

Broth added to the simmering squash and spices.

Add broth/stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat until just before serving.

A Dutch oven with an immersion blender puréeing the soup.

8. Add coconut milk, then purée until smooth. Gently reheat if necessary.

To serve, ladle the squash soup into bowls, and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

A Dutch oven with vegan Mexican winter squash soup with a ladle, salt and pepper grinders, and fresh mint.

💭 Tips

Can I freeze this soup? Yes! Gently reheat and garnish with fresh herbs!

I can’t get kabocha squash. What else can I use? Any winter squash will yield similar results – pumpkin, butternut, acorn, etc.

I try to reduce dairy, and I love the creamy flavor coconut milk provides. If you don’t follow a plant-based diet or are dairy sensitive, you can substitute half n half. I’m all about using ingredients you have on hand! If you do it, let me know how it works out!

🧂 Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

When the weather begins to cool, I’m all about soups. They warm the tummy and the soul. I’d love to hear about your favorites, and maybe give them a try myself!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
A close up of a red ceramic bowl with creamy vegan kabocha squash soup.

📖 Recipe

A single bowl of vegan Mexican winter squash soup in a red ceramic bowl garnished with mint.

Mexican Winter Squash Soup

A creamy, warming bowl of deliciousness, this vegan Mexican winter squash soup features kabocha squash with apple and onion flavored by an ancho/achiote paste and simmered in coconut milk.
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 288 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Arrange squash, apple, and onion on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until the squash is tender and has some caramelization on the edges. You should have some color on the apple and onion at this point as well. All the squash to cool before removing the peel.
  • Toast the chiles in a dry pan until fragrant. After removing the stems and seeds, cut into pieces, add the chiles in a medium-sized bowl. Cover with boiling water. Soak until softened (about 10 minutes).
  • Toast the pepitas if you are using raw. Add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the drained ancho chile pieces (reserve the liquid). Add the achiote/annatto paste, garlic, cinnamon stick, Mexican oregano, and salt.
  • Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined, adding the chile liquid to make a thick paste.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic in butter and/or coconut or olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • After the onions and garlic have sautéed for a minute or two, add the roasted squash and recado rojo (achiote/chile paste). Continue to sauté another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add broth/stock. Bring to a boil.
  • Add coconut milk, then purée until smooth. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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2 Comments

  1. I noticed the ingredients call for Apple but the directions talks about Garlic. I added both! Turned our very nice.