By Vilda Gonzalez

This winter squash soup is a delicious antidote to the cold, drying nature of winter: it’s deeply nourishing and chock full of ingredients that help your body stay warm and hydrated. While the soup is satisfying on its own, topping it with the hazelnut and sesame dukkah adds a welcome pop of texture and an added nutrient boost. 

This soup can be made with any winter squash, but is particularly suited to the sweet, dense flesh of a kabocha or other similar variety. My hack for avoiding the precarious task of breaking down harder varieties of squash is to roast them whole in the oven. Simply place your squash on a sheet tray and roast them in the oven at 350°F until tender, then scoop out all of the precious flesh. What this method doesn’t achieve from adding salt and aromatics, is made up for in the seasoning of the soup. 

Serves 2-4



For the soup

2 tablespoons coconut oil 

4 medium shallots, thinly sliced 

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon ground paprika 

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or similar chili powder

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for garnish 

Salt to season 

3 cups roasted squash puree, from approximately one large squash 

1 cup full fat coconut milk, plus an extra drizzle to serve 

3½-4 cups chicken bone broth (depending on how thick you like your soup)

1½  teaspoons sherry vinegar 

For the dukkah

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds 

2 tablespoons sesame seeds 

1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano 

½ cup hazelnuts 

Sea salt to season 

1½ teaspoon aleppo


For the soup
  1. In a saucepan set over medium heat, add the coconut oil, shallots and a small pinch of salt.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are meltingly soft and caramelized.
  3. Add the garlic, spices, and thyme and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two.
  4. Add the squash puree, coconut milk and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine, then add the broth.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend till it's smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender - you just won’t achieve the same silky, velvety texture.
  7. If you used a blender, return the soup to the pot.
  8. Season with another pinch of salt and the sherry vinegar.
  9. Taste for seasoning, and adjust with another pinch of salt if needed.
    For the dukkah
    1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat.
    2. Add the cumin and coriander to the pan and toast until aromatic.
    3. Repeat with the sesame seeds.
    4. Add all of the toasted seeds to a mortar and pestle and grind until almost pulverized. You want the spices to retain a bit of texture, so don’t go as far as to powder them.
    5. Add the hazelnuts and crush into small pieces.
    6. Mix in the salt and aleppo. 

      Serve the soup piping hot, topped with dukkah, a drizzle of coconut milk, and some fresh thyme. This soup can be eaten day of, but is even more delicious served the next day.