I’m in love with creamy, squash soups, like this Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. The sweet carnival squash pairs so well with the warm, earthy, spiciness of turmeric root in this scrumptious soup. The color of this soup is a fabulous amber-chartreuse shade, which depends a bit on the color of your squash. Each time I make this soup, the color is slightly different—such is the variety found in Mother Nature! The fresh turmeric adds a truly intense color to the soup, too.
What is carnival squash? If you see it at the supermarket or farmers market, you can’t miss it. It’s a beautiful, scalloped squash in “carnival” shades of yellow, orange, cobalt, and green—as splashy as it is delicious and nutritious. You can also swap out another type of winter squash for this recipe, such as turban, delicata, acorn, or butternut. Cook it up, puree it, and serve this soup as a luscious lunch with a pita sandwich or hearty salad, or as an elegant start to your dinner. It’s great warmed up the next day, too.
The nutrition value of this soup is off the charts, thanks to the carotenoids found in the squash, and the curcumin compounds found in turmeric. This recipe uses fresh turmeric root, which is increasingly available at markets and natural food stores. Read more about cooking with fresh turmeric at the Plant-Powered Dietitian. When you use fresh turmeric, you will get a more intense flavor and color. However, if you don’t have fresh turmeric, try ground, dried turmeric.
While this recipe is so impressive, it is deceptively simple, with only 7 ingredients (not including pantry staples) you can whip this up in under 30 minutes. In the photos here, I garnished the soup with red chili oil, nasturtium flowers and leaves (which are edible) from my garden, black pepper (which amplifies the nutrition value of turmeric), sea salt, and additional freshly grated turmeric.
I’m in the habit of decorating the top of my creamy soups, as it’s a fun way to make these soups even more appealing! These pictures are shot in my vegetable garden, with the soup perched on an old wooden bench that normally houses my garden tools.
Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds, slice into quarters, leaving peel on. Place in a medium pot, add water, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until flesh is tender.
While squash is cooking, heat oil in a sauté pan or skillet and sauté celery, shallot, and garlic.
Peel turmeric root and slice ¾ of it into thin slices, reserving the rest for garnish. Add to skillet and sauté with vegetables until tender (about 10 minutes).
When squash is tender, remove squash to cool slightly and drain water from pan.
Scoop out cooked squash flesh with a spoon and add to the container of a blender with cooked celery mixture, plant-based milk, and vegetable broth.
Blend mixture until smooth.
Return to medium pot and reheat just until bubbly and heated through.
Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with grated turmeric as desired.
You can substitute other types of squash, such as butternut, acorn, or delicate for carnival squash as desired.
InstantPot Directions: Peel and chop squash. Place squash, oil, celery, shallot, garlic, three-fourths of turmeric root, black pepper, sea salt (optional), plant-based milk, and vegetable broth in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Soup” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove soup from pot and place in large blender. Process until blended and creamy (may need to process in small batches). Serve immediately. May garnish with remaining grated turmeric root as desired.
Slow Cooker Directions. Peel and chop squash. Place squash, oil, celery, shallot, garlic, three-fourths of turmeric root, black pepper, sea salt (optional), plant-based milk, and vegetable broth in the container of the Slow Cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove soup from slow cooker and place in large blender. Process until blended and creamy (may need to process in small batches). Serve immediately. May garnish with remaining grated turmeric root as desired.
Serving Size:1 serving
Saturated Fat:0 g
Keywords: Squash soup, Turmeric soup, best vegan squash soup