Roasted Tomato, Squash & Coconut Milk Bisque

I’m suffering from a major case of autumn envy.

On Facebook friends who don’t live in Los Angeles talk about brisk, sunny days and post photos of themselves wearing adorable trench coats and boots while I sit, sweating, in a limp tank top and stupid shorts. It’s October. It was 96°F today.

So in rebellion, I made soup.

I’ll admit there is something nice about the overlap between summer’s bursting produce and the comforting vegetables of fall. Dark red summer tomatoes are cheaper at the farmers market now, as vendors try to sell off the last of the season, and winter squash has started popping up, with names straight out of J. Crew’s fall collection. Butternut. Ambercup. Acorn.

This summer-fall hybrid time seemed like the perfect moment to try a recipe I pinned ages ago, a vegan tomato-squash bisque made with coconut milk instead of cream from the lovely blog Honest Fare. The tomatoes and squash are roasted first to concentrate their flavors, then simmered in coconut milk and vegetable stock before being whizzed into a smooth puree.

To play off the coconut, I added fresh grated ginger to the mixture and skipped the basil called for in the original recipe. I also used light coconut instead of full-fat, which I think lets the flavors of the vegetables come to the forefront: the bright tomatoes, the sweet squash. It’s a cross between a Thanksgiving-ready creamy butternut soup and a fresh summer tomato soup and I like it so much I’ve made it twice, even during this endless Indian summer.

Roasted Tomato, Squash & Coconut Milk Bisque

Yield: 2 quarts

{ Ingredients }

10-12 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 cups winter squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 13.5-ounce can light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
Vegetable oil
Lemon (optional)

{ Directions }

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub oil over both sides of the tomatoes. Place the squash on another baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub oil over all sides of the squash. Roast the tomatoes and squash for 30 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through. The tomatoes should be shriveling but not bursting and the squash should look nicely browned.

Chop the onion, mince the garlic and grate the ginger. When the tomatoes and squash are almost done, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, squash, coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until squash is very soft. Taste and add salt if needed.

Let soup cool slightly and puree until very smooth with a stick blender or in batches with a countertop blender. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a squeeze of lemon if soup needs a little brightness. Serve immediately or let cool and freeze for up to 3 months.

• For a pretty garnish, reserve a couple tablespoons of coconut milk to drizzle over the soup before serving.

• I've made this soup with butternut squash and ambercup squash (the cut squash pictured above), but any type of firm, orange-fleshed winter squash would be tasty.

Adapted from Honest Fare.



  1. #
    Denise — October 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Your blog is so nice, even my email address looks beautiful as I type it into the comments section. Also, your soup is so beautiful that I would make t immediately, regardless of how many soups I’ve made this week. It is so up my street that I feel like we are neighbours. Me and the soup that is. Not you and me. That would be weird.

    • Anjali — October 2nd, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks, Denise! I hope you enjoy it.

  2. #
    swati — October 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    wow.. the ingredients and the recipe looks pretty good, one cannot go wrong with this. Its excellent!

  3. #
    Julia | — October 3, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I love the combination of flavors in this soup. and I would eat anything that has tomatoes in it!

  4. #
    maryeats — October 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    oh wow! What a beautiful photo. Excited to try this soup. I love using coconut milk in place of cream in purees. It’m always surprised how versatile the flavor is.

  5. #
    Pamela — February 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Anjali! I just made this soup and it was amazing. I substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil to make it more coconut-y. I also recently made your bean masala dish with the rice and everything, and it was also amazing. I’ve given up refined sugar for the month of Feb, and it has made me look a lot closer at what I’m eating. As a result, I’ve found myself steering towards healthier veggie-packed meals, and your recipes have been really helpful. Plus, they are great for a grad student budget. Anyway, you’re an inspiration!

    • Anjali — February 18th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks, Pam! Healthy, veggie-packed and budget-friendly is always what I’m aiming for, so this is so great to hear. Good luck with your sugar-free February!

  6. #
    Nicole — September 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

    This soup looks so yummy! We did not have a good tomato crop this year, but it looks like we will have plenty of winter squash. Do you think it would work with softened sun-dried tomatoes?

    • Anjali — September 3rd, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Nicole, I think they would add great flavor. You’d probably have to experiment with using more squash and stock, since the tomatoes add body and liquid to the soup. Let me know how it goes!

  7. #
    Arianna — January 2, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    This soup is wonderful. I just finished making it and it is so healthy and light on calories. The ginger is a great hit, too. We thought it was delicious with crab meat in it as well.

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