Yellow Squash Coconut Soup ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable soup recipe: A riff on a Julia Child’s master soup recipe, thickened with a starch like rice (or here, farro) instead of flour.

~recipe & photo updated 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~

2007 Original Post: Would Julia Child be pleased? Will StephenCooks be pleased? Yes and yes, I think. You see, this soup is a variation on on last month's Cream of Zucchini Soup, a 'master recipe' from Julia Child's The Way to Cook but is also inspired by Stephen's Summer Squash & Fresh Corn Soup. I especially like Stephen's idea that some times we cook with our 'left hands', almost without thought while cooking something else, because it's that simple or flexible or forgiving.

So rather than use rice and sour cream like before, I used farro and coconut milk. And instead of the blender (or Stephen's faster food processor) to process, I used the Braun immersion blender, saving space in the dishwasher. And I used bacon grease instead of butter for more meaty flavor and substituted cabbage for onion since that's all that was on hand – there you go! an entirely different soup.

It'll work the same for you, too, just cook with your 'left hand'.

WHAT IS FARRO? It's a high-protein, high-fiber grain that is sometimes called 'emmer wheat' and is much-appreciated in Italian cuisine. I fell in love with this grain, its nutty and hearty puff, last spring. I don't quite know how to explain how it's different but I do recommend that you look for it. If you like, Amazon sells Farro Perlato. In St. Louis, I find it at Global Foods, in the rice section). The 'pearled' or 'semi-pearled' farro has some of the husk removed and cooks more quickly.


Hands-on time: maybe 30 minutes?
Time to table: maybe 90 minutes?
Makes 10 cups

8 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon bacon grease (or butter or olive oil for vegan soup)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 a medium cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup farro (or rice, brown rice works fine)
1 teaspoon turmeric, for color

1 1/2 pounds yellow squash, trimmed and grated (set aside about 1/4)
15 ounces low-fat coconut milk (or some other creamy liquid such as sour cream)
Salt & pepper to taste

Unsweetened toasted coconut, to garnish, optional

Bring 4 cups of broth to a boil in the microwave. Meanwhile, in a very large pot or Dutch oven, melt the bacon grease on MEDIUM HIGH til shimmery, then add the onion and cabbage as it’s prepped, stirring to coat and then stirring often. Add the farro and turmeric, and stir to coat, let cook for about 5 minutes until cabbage is beginning to soften. Add 3/4 of the squash, stir to coat. Add the 4 cups hot broth and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover and let cook for 15 - 30 minutes until the farro and squash are cooked. (While this happens, heat the remaining 4 cups broth, add it to the pot too.) With an immersion blender, process soup until it’s as smooth as desired. Add remaining 1/4 squash and coconut milk and warm completely through. Season to taste. Spoon into bowls and garnish with coconut.

2007: This soup was good both hot and cold but the coconut flavor was more pronounced when hot. The immersion blender didn't yield the same unctuous smoothness as the blender but honestly, I loved the bits of nutty farro and chunks of squash though it's decidedly more rustic.

2013: This time, I used yellow squash from the garden and oh my, but the skins were tough and the centers seedy. I did carve out the seeds before chopping – there was no grating these – and in retrospect, I should have used a vegetable peeler to remove the skins. The tough skins made two big differences, the cooking time was longer and I really had to pur´e the soup in the blender, no “rustic texture” this time.

2013: I also used a full-fat coconut milk because that’s what was on hand and this made for a very rich soup, too rich for my taste especially since the chicken stock was also quite rich.

Still Hungry?

~ Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach: Early Autumn Leaves in Soup ~
~ Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ~
~ Yellow Summer Squash Casserole ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Mediterranean Eggplant ~
~ Finnish Summer Soup ~
~ Ratatouille ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

How to eat more vegetables? A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes with hundreds of well-organized, quick and easy favorite vegetable recipes, the Alphabet of Vegetables, Weight Watchers low-point recipes and microwave vegetable recipes.
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Cooking with my left hand . . . I'm not sure I'd be as successful as you have been here. I think it's unlikely I'd have had the cabbage around as my husband is always wanting slaw when it's in the fridge. But like you, I'd want the texture left from the immersion blender!
    We're in Seattle for September and I'll be needing soups.

  2. I often cook without real recipes and just use up what I have, but that's probably not what you mean by cooking with your left hand :)

  3. Hi Alanna....looks great...and I have a confession to make: I use bacon grease in soups and stews when I have it handy but I never mention it in my recipes! I guess I'm afraid of the food police, so I salute your damn-the-torpedoes bravery!
    -- best, S

  4. My few experiments with farro haven't been too successful, so I've got some sitting in the pantry, waiting for inspiration. And here you are!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna