Do you have a favorite squash? There so many wonderful varieties. I seem to always come back to butternut squash. It’s one of my all time favorites. Butternut squash is incredibly versatile and pairs well with many different spices and flavors. In this soup, fresh ginger and ground nutmeg work beautifully together. They make the soup fragrant, tasty, and it just feels like fall.
This recipe will serve 4 people. So, go ahead and double the recipe if you are serving a larger group. I like the flavor of chicken broth in the soup. But if you’re vegetarian or vegan, go ahead and use vegetable broth instead. It’s just as delicious.
Butternut squash is packed full of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, B-6, magnesium, and potassium. To name a few!
Preparing homemade soup is easy, but generally requires a little patience and time. That’s why homemade always tastes so much better than store-bought. You’ll also get more health benefits out of the fresh vegetables you use. To make this process a little easier, I recommend making the butternut squash puree ahead of time. You can make it a day or two ahead and finish off the soup within 30 minutes when you’re ready. I also often measure out two cups of the puree and seal it in a freezer-safe container. I freeze it for later use as soup or a sauce.
If you like it a little spicy, you can kick it up a notch by adding a pinch of red chili pepper flakes to the squash before it bakes in the oven. The chili’s release their oils as it cooks and slightly spices it up.
Nutritional information source Health benefits of butternut squash: Medical News Today, Oct 2014
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Useful kitchen tools for this recipe:
- 1 butternut squash medium to large sized
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 cups butternut squash puree (from above)
- 2 - 2 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup onion minced
- 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz can)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and strings with a spoon. Season the inner flesh of the squash with the sunflower oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Bake in the oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until the the flesh is soft and fork tender. I usually reduce the heat after the first 30 minutes to 375 F to help prevent scorching. Remove the puree with a spoon after it has cooled slightly and mash up the puree. Store up to three days in the fridge.
Over medium-high heat, saute the onions in the sunflower oil until they begin to soften. Lower the heat as necessary to avoid scorching. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another couple minutes. Next add the squash puree and chicken broth and bring it to a simmer.
Simmer for a few minutes and then carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. (Transfer in batches if necessary). Pulse in the food processor until it is a smooth consistency. Transfer the mixture back to the soup pot.
Add the nutmeg, heavy cream and additional sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste. The soup should be somewhat thick. Water can be added a little at a time to thin the soup to taste.
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If you like it a little spicy, you can kick it up a notch by adding a pinch of red chili pepper flakes to the squash before it bakes in the oven. The chili's release their oils as it cooks and slightly spices it up.
Use freshly ground nutmeg for best results.
I like organic sunflower oil. But you can use any good quality vegetable oil.
Transfer the soup to a food processor in small batches. Hot liquid in a food processor can expand. Be careful not to overfill the processor.