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Dec 24, 2008 05:53 PM

How to make the best butternut squash soup?

Forget all the apples and curry and cinnamon...what's the best recipe out there that simply is just a savory super smooth soup of butternut squash? Most recipes I've attempted in the past were either too sickly sweet or too awkwardly spiced.

And the biggest problem I've always encountered is that all of my end products always ended up looking like baby food instead of silky. How do you get that incredibly creamy texture that you find in restaurant soups?

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  1. Yeah, I have the same problem this time of year in restaurants. I am sick and tired of hoidy-toidy places trying to update a basic soup that needs no such treatment. My recipe:
    1) cut butternut squash in half, scrape out seeds.
    2) place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in oven until soft (stick a paring knfie directly into the skin).
    3) scrape out flesh into a blender or food processor
    4) start machine, and just enough canned chix stock so it will spin around in the machine.
    5) scrape into saucepan and heat to serving temp
    6) too thick? add a bit more stock
    7) no flavor? add S&P to taste

    4 Replies
    1. re: jerry i h

      I do as jerry except i add one large onion cooked translucent in butter and in addition to salt and pepper some balsamic vinegar. I also like a touch of nutmeg to round it out. I then use an immersion blender on it all. I'd probably get better results in a food processor, but I'm fine with the results of the immersion blender.

      1. re: Rick

        I like balsamic vinegar in it, too. I roast the onions, though. I use a food processor and it's creamy.

        1. re: chowser

          Balsamic sounds like a yummy yet subtle addition. I'll have to try that. What do you serve with it?

          1. re: lynnlato

            Generally paninis or just some good crusty bread. I like the balsamic vinegar and creme fraiche on the soup.

    2. I use a pretty similar recipe to jerry i h. I roast seeded squash (cut in large chunks), sweet onions and garlic with a bit of broth, salt and pepper. Then I blend the roasted veggies with more broth (keeping it relatively thick - kind of baby food consistency). I add a bit of butter and cream (just a few tablespoons), adjust the seasonings and that's it. With an immersion blender this is extremely simple and the butter helps the consistency. I have had good results with the pacific organic vegetable stock and swansons (sp?) vegetable stock.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Olive123

        I make a soup along this line roughly following an Italian recipe. About the only spice is nutmeg, though I'll also add a bit of ginger. Also some parm cheese. Another interesting Italian touch is to cook some soup pasta in it (broken thin spaghetti). It adds a nice texture contrast to an otherwise very smooth soup.

        I spend the most time adjusting the salt. I gradually add salt till the flavors sort of 'pop out'. There seems to be a fine line between a bland, under salted soup, and an over salted one.

        1. re: paulj

          I tried some butternut squash at a potluck a few years ago, billed as "the best recipe" according to Cooks Illustrated. It was completely unsalted and, IMO, virtually inedible.

      2. I use the recipe for "creamy creamless squash soup" from Faith Willinger's "Red, White and Green" cookbook. Paraphrased:

        1 stalk celery, chopped
        1 carrot, chopped
        1 onion, chopped
        1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
        1/2 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1.5 cups)
        olive oil
        water or stock
        salt, pepper

        Saute celery, carrot, and onion in olive oil until wilted (not browned). Add squash, potatoes, and about 3.5 cups boiling water or stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Blend until smooth. (I put it in a blender on "puree" for at least 2 minutes. Really. That gets it nice and silky. I think one of the main mistakes people make is not to puree thoroughly enough.) Return to pot, heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnish of olive oil or cream if you like.

        Note: I use water or homemade chicken stock, not canned. Plain water is better than canned stock!!!!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jlafler

          the secret to the creaminess & body in the Willinger recipe is the starch from the potatoes.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            That's true, but the length of time on "puree" makes a difference, too.

        2. Roast the squash in the oven, saute celery, onion, garlic in oil, add the roasted squash chicken broth and a can of tomatoes cook until done then put into blender,
          You can put it through a sieve if you want it creamy smooth and you can add a little bit of butter or cream for extra richness.
          You can serve it with croutons, a dollop of sour cream or a little swirl of cream or just plain.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TDEL

            Yes. You need to strain it to get the texture the OP is describing. Cook first, then blend, then strain.

            Roast the squash
            Remove flesh to a pot and cover with water
            Add 1/2 chopped shallot & one garlic clove minced
            Simmer for 20 minutes
            Add 1 Tbsp butter, 1/3 rd cup cream
            Blend well
            Adjust seasoning with s & p

            You'll have creamy, rich, smooth soup. Butternut squash flavor will star.

          2. I think you just need to make the version from Bouchon. It is incredible. Sauteed leeks, onions, shallots, carrots. Part of squash sauteed, other part roasted, a little garlic and a touch of honey, veg stock, puree, adjust seasonings, add stock to desired consistency. Follow the recipe for best results.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ktb615

              recipe? i'd soooo love to try this...couldn't track it down online...