Traditional South African Butternut Soup

Traditional South African butternut soup is rich and creamy and a feast for eyes and taste buds. Butternut squash is a yellow type of pumpkin which is available nearly all year round and is used extensively in the South African cuisine. 

This soup is definitely one dish that many South Africans will identify as a meal that is deeply associated with their country. There are many cooking recipes for this dish available in books as well as on the net. My recipe is blending the mellow flavors of the butternut and fresh cream with a variety of exotic spices and the fruitiness of apples and oranges.

Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total time needed: at least 60 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: easy

traditional South African
Butternut Soup

Ingredients  for traditional South African Butternut SoupIngredients for this traditional South African Soup
  • 1 kg / 2.2 lbs. butternut, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 sweet and sour apple Granny Smith or Pink Crips, peeled and cubed
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 yellow or red sweet pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
  • 2 medium sized onions quartered
  • 700 ml / 23.7 oz water
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cream
  • 1 cube vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. madras curry powder or other hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg


  • Add water to a large steaming pot on the stove
  • Place cinnamon stick, stock cube and dry spices into the pot and bring it to the boil. Once it starts boiling turn down the heat to medium and place the steaming dish with the vegetables on top of the boiling soup.
  • Steam butternut, apple, onion and sweet pepper on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Take steamed vegetables of the stove and let them cool down for 5 minutes
  • Place vegetables, garlic, and orange juice in a food processor and blend into smooth soup
  • Place the soup back into the pot, mix in fresh cream and heat soup up till it begins to simmer gently.
  • Cover with lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring it a few times.
  • Taste the soup and add more orange juice if you prefer it sweeter and / or salt to suit your personal taste
  • Garnish with a little fresh cream

Serve as a starter or with some freshly baked bread and salad as a main meal.

South Africans love to braai (barbecue) and enjoy cooking food on an open fire in big cast iron pots called "potjie". Potjikos recipes are slow cooked stews that are part of the casserole / one pot food culture that is popular in many parts of the world.

Try this Bacon and Green Pea Potjikos 

Algerian Coriander Chicken

Cape Vegetable Casserole 

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What is a Butternut?

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