Tom Kha Gai Butternut Squash Soup


Travel whenever you can. The trip was one of my most challenging but also the most educational and fun.

My favorite part of traveling is to expand my horizons. This can be done by learning a new language, observing other cultures, or trying out new cuisines. Thai and Indonesian cuisines were two of my favorites. Although they were very straightforward, simple dishes, the flavors and creativity of these meals were always fresh.

Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai is a coconut milk and broth soup with the flavors of ginger (or Galangal), chili, and lemongrass. The national Thai dish is believed to originate in northern Thailand, with influences from Laos.

Tom Kha Gai is usually made with chicken and a few mushrooms for texture. This version is vegan-friendly, and I’ve added a whole roasted butternut to the vegetable count! Check out that creamy goodness. I couldn’t wait to try it.

Although this soup is unfamiliar to many, it has ingredients that are easy to find.

Butternut squash vegetable soup

Coconut milk




Thai Chili (or another hot pepper)


& fish sauce (optional)

This soup is bursting with flavor. Butternut squash adds a creamy, luxurious texture to the soup. It’s perfect for wintertime when you are hunched in. This is almost all we did in the last week. Stay in your jammies and enjoy hot chocolate with soup. Then go back to sleep. It was wonderful.


  • Butternut squash, one small (cubed)
  • One 14-oz. can light coconut milk
  • Buy or make your low-sodium vegetable broth.
  • One small shallot, thinly sliced
  • One small knob of fresh ginger (grated/one knob yields about three tablespoons)
  • Lemongrass, two stalks (cut into 6-inch pieces to make it easier to remove before serving).
  • 1 cup mushrooms (sliced).
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • Half a medium Thai chili pepper or serrano (thinly cut, with most of the seeds removed).
  • Serve with lime quarters, cilantro, and basil.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash with two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil and some sea salt on a baking tray. Roast butternut squash for 12-15 mins or until it is tender and cooked. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Add coconut milk, vegetable stock, ginger, lemongrass, and shallot to a medium saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir in the fish sauce (optional), sliced pepper, and optionally the fish sauce.
  • Puree butternut squash in a processor, blender, and 1 cup of broth (amount according to the original recipe // adjust for changes in batch size). Add the butternut squash back to the soup and stir well. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. At this point, I added a little more ginger and salt.
  • Lemongrass should be thrown away before serving (if it is fresh – otherwise, ignore this instruction). Fresh lime juice, along with fresh basil and cilantro, is highly recommended.
  • It would be delicious over rice or just by itself. Cover leftovers and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze for longer-term storage.

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