Butternut Squash Soup


I can still remember the time I was first introduced to butternut squash soup.

Winter 2001 ¤ Besançon, France ¤ study abroad

She called it soup and so it couldn’t be that strange. Could it? It was decidedly awkward for a brief moment. I didn’t know what it was. I graciously accepted the steamy bowl of golden yellow soup with disguised reservations. {mérci.} Naïveté simmered during several other obscure moments that marked my study abroad experience. Lets just say that unidentifiable soup was the least of my worries. Que sera sera.

Luckily my palette has changed in profound ways over the years and I can now say with confidence that my host mom offered me squash soup that evening. Funny how peculiarity turns to commonality because nowadays, squash soup is a favorite soup du jour in my kitchen.

butternut squash soup
category ⇒ purÉed

Puréed soup is the result of blending the base liquid (8 cups chicken stock) and the garnish ingredients until the mixture resembles a smooth and creamy texture.


Boasting versatility, squash soup thrives when paired with a variety of flavor profiles. This particular instance I chose Mexican flavors and it did not disappoint. Bright flavors make this a perfect springtime soup that pairs lovely with grilled seafood. Garnish ingredients include:

  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and cubed
  • oregano, fresh, grab a handful and chop
  • ground hatch chiles, ½ teaspoon
  • cumin, 1 teaspoon
  • cayenne, ¼ teaspoon
  • garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • cilantro, fresh, grab a handful and chop
  • beet shavings
seasoning ⇒ salt

Using the taste and season technique, taste the soup throughout the cooking process. Add a dash or two of salt to the pot to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

Assembly of parts
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil {of choice}, medium-high heat.
  2. Add poblano and onion. Sprinkle with salt and cook for awhile, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add butternut squash, sweet potato and zucchini and cook for awhile longer, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Season ingredients with hatch chiles, cumin, cayenne, oregano and garlic. Cook a smidge longer until fragrant, 1 minute or less.
  5. Deglaze pot with stock, stirring to combine.
  6. Bring soup to boil and then reduce heat to low.
  7. Cover and simmer on low until squash, sweet potatoes and zucchini are soft, about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove pot from heat and blend ingredients to a creamy, smooth texture. My preferred blending tool is the immersion blender.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and beet shavings.

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