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Butternut Squash Soup - By Z

A storm is brewing in San Francisco. While walking home from work in a headwind I was able to lean forward like an extra from the Smooth Criminal video. After so many days of sunshine, the rain is coming to remind us what city we live in. Luckily, I have a defense: smooth, creamy, comforting butternut squash soup.

I won’t be taking pictures of the soup I make tonight, but as this is a simple recipe with nearly infinite permutations, I have made it many times over the past year and taken pictures several of those times. I had aspirations of blogging about it, but haven’t found the time until now. Luckily, I still have the pictures.

Now, I’m not the hugest fan of blended soups (I enjoy texture), but this butternut squash soup is pretty damn amazing. It’s not my recipe, but my sister’s.  It is, as you’ll see below, an easily modified recipe to adjust for taste, health, texture, and such.

Without further adieu, lots of pictures (and the recipe at the bottom!).

Butternut squash halved.

Scoop the inside out and cube it. It's all gonna get blended so don't worry about being perfect, just try to cut them similar sizes so they'll cook at the same rate.

It's worth mentioning that these pictures span several months and several different times of cooking the butternut squash soup. This time, I was lazy and used pre-cut butternut squash.

Bringing the squash to a boil with the spices.

Cook until the squash is tender.

Then, blend. Note: Do NOT fill the blender up all the way or you the steam WILL build up and you WILL get butternut squash soup all over yourself and your kitchen. I make these mistakes so you don't have to.

Serve topped with crème fraiche or greek yogurt. In this picture, I drizzled a little bit of chive oil on top.


Butternut Squash Soup

Original recipe is in black, my sister’s comments are in red, and mine are in blue.

6 tablespoons chopped onion (or, if you don’t want to measure, one medium-ish onion)
4 tablespoons margarine (I used “light” butter) (I used real butter)
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (I used one bag of peeled cubed squash from Costco) (I used one large-ish butternut squash and didn’t bother measuring after the first time showed me that it was approximately 6 cups)
3 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon (or use 3 cups of any kind of stock or broth in lieu of water; it won’t be AS flavorful or sodium-laden as the recipe intends, but it still tastes quite good and is pretty close. Oh, and it should go without saying that you can substitute beef or vegetable stock. I wouldn’t use seafood stock though.)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (I’ve added a variety of different spices depending on what I felt like while making it; examples include sage, thyme, and one ill-advised time, rosemary)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (This is key; I’m convinced this is the secret ingredient to this recipe. Of course, I add enough for it to be spicy, but with the prescribed 1/8 teaspoon, it’s virtually undetectable, but really ties the soup together)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (I only used 4 ounces of whipped cream cheese)

1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine (or butter) until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon (or stock), marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper (and/or other spices). Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.


Note that the basic principles of this recipe can made with any combination of root vegetable + fat.

I’ve made:

  • carrot and ginger soup with cream cheese
  • leek and fennel soup with heavy cream
  • cauliflower soup with chicken stock (yeah, chicken stock doesn’t have THAT much fat; that was for a low calorie, high fiber sipping soup which I think turned out pretty well)

I only include this picture because it is so ridiculous. In a misguided effort to take an "artistic" picture, I decided to prop up my cutting board to use as a backdrop. Anthropomorphizing be damned, even the squash looks a bit awkward and embarrassed at being in this photo.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Food, By Z › A Garden, An Oven, and Some Soup on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    [...] It’s strikingly similar to the post preceding this one regarding butternut squash soup. As a matter of fact, you can prepare either one either way (i.e. roasting your squash and onions, [...]

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