Cape Malay Butternut or Pumpkin Soup

It’s Butternut and Pumpkin Season at the Quinta!

Introducing the stars of our garden this autumn, the butternut and pumpkin!

Plump and radiant, our homegrown butternuts have thrived under the gentle sun and copious rains. Their earthy, sweet flavour makes them the perfect ingredient for comforting butternut or pumpkin soup. As we gather these golden treasures from our garden, you’ll soon discover how the natural sweetness and earthy notes of our butternuts elevate this soup to a hearty seasonal treat. Join us in savouring the cosiness of autumn, one delicious bowl at a time.

This Cape Malay Butternut Soup is a South African twist on a classic favourite. Infused with the aromatic spices of Cape Malay cuisine, it’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for warming your heart in Autumn. 

This soup reflects the diverse culinary heritage of the Cape Malay community, blending Dutch, Indonesian, and Indian influences into a harmonious and flavourful dish that has earned a cherished place at South African tables. 

Let’s dive into the recipe:

Ready your butternuts!

Cape Malay Butternut Soup Recipe


  • 1 1⁄2 kg butternut squash, peeled, pipped, and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 2 large brown onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic mash or two large cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • Coriander seeds (ground in a mortar and pestle, then roasted to release the oils)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala*
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 mild chilli, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin Quinta Carvalhas Original Olive Oil (wink wink, nudge nudge 😜)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 250 ml fresh pouring cream
  • Salt, to taste

*Feel free to use any curry-type spices you have on hand. Experiment and customize to your taste.


1. Roast the Butternut:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Place the butternut chunks in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and roast until they become soft and start to caramelize. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Set aside.

2. Prepare the Onions and Spices:

  • While the butternut is roasting, finely chop the onions, mince the garlic, and chop the chili.
  • In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil over moderate heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and chilli. Cook until the onions become soft and transparent.

3. Add the Spices:

  • Stir in the curry powder, turmeric powder, and ground coriander seeds. Allow the spices to infuse with the onions for a couple of minutes until well mixed.

4. Incorporate the Liquids:

  • Add the lemon juice and vegetable stock to the saucepan. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour in the water and add the roasted butternut chunks. Let the mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes, allowing all the flavours to meld together.

5. Blend and Add Orange Juice:

  • Using a hand blender, carefully puree the soup until it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Pour in the orange juice and stir until fully incorporated. This adds a delightful citrus note to the soup.

6. Serve and Garnish:

  • Serve the Cape Malay Butternut Soup hot.
  • Just before serving, swirl a tablespoon or two of fresh cream into the centre of each bowl of soup, creating an enticing visual and flavour contrast.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or coriander for a burst of colour and additional aroma.

Now you have a wonderfully spiced Cape Malay Butternut Soup that’s perfect for warming up your soul. Enjoy this South African twist on a classic soup with its unique blend of flavours!


Quinta Carvalhas - The Green Farm, is a Luxury Farm Stay & Retreat Venue in Portugal. A holistic well-being haven that offers unique experiences for Body, Mind and Soul. Yoga, Reiki, Horse Therapy, Massage, Vegetarian Food.

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