Cape Malay Spiced Butternut Soup

PREP TIME: 10mins


I love a chunky butternut soup in the winter when it’s cold and wet and I am in need of some warmth.

The addition of warming and sweet Cape Malay spices makes this soup a true family favourite.

Ghee or clarified butter is often used in Indian cooking, and here it adds a rich caramel undertone to the soup which I love.

Feel free to spice things up by adding some fresh chilli to the soup or doubling up on the garam masala and/or turmeric.

Getting Ahead: you can speed things up by buying ready cut organic butternut pieces and the soup will benefit from being made a few days ahead.

Seasonal Swops: you can use olive oil instead of ghee to make the soup vegan or normal butter if you can’t find ghee. Pumpkin will be a worthy substitute, although I would tend to roast if before, to maximise its flavour. I think sweet potatoes might be too sweet for me personally, but would definitely work.

Serving Suggestion:

Soup is made for dunking bread into and this soup would be lovely with some easy naan or flatbreads on the side.

PS: I make a batch of my easy naan breads and freeze them, they defrost in a preheated oven in no time!

What you'll need:

Hand blender and a medium saucepan


  • 1kg butternut, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 full teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 full teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 800-1 litre vegetable stock or water
  • handful coriander, leaves only, chopped


  1. Heat the ghee and olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat, add the butternut, onions and garlic, stir well and cook, covered until the butternut is soft and starting to caramelise at the sides, about 20 minutes.
  2. TIP: when lifting the lid to stir, try to pour the water created by the steam in the saucepan, back into the saucepan. This helps to keep the veggies moist and speeds up the cooking process.
  3. Once the butternut is soft, add the spices followed by the ginger, cook until fragrant, 3 minutes.
  4. Add the can of tomatoes, enough stock or water to cover the veggies and the salt.
  5. Simmer gently until the butternut is completely soft. Taste and season if needed.
  6. Blend with the hand blender to your liking keeping it smooth or chunky.
  7. To serve, I added another tablespoon of ghee to the soup for added richness followed by the coriander. Enjoy!
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