High on my list of things I’ve always wanted to do but finances, scheduling or partner interest always got in the way was going to some small town for a rustic fall weekend, even though it risked cementing my unconditionally yuppie status. I mentioned this to my delightful husband a month ago, in a “maybe we could pull it off this year” kind of way and a day later, he had the whole thing booked. Cue: swoon.
And a leaf-peeping — in a borrowed Jetta, no less — we went! Alex and I headed up to Hadley, New York on Friday evening, to stay at an adorable 1885 mansion converted into a yellow, orange and aqua-exterior and rose-filled interior B&B in the early 80s. It’s now owned by a gay couple, formerly of the Upper West Side, one who cooks and paints awesome Hopper-like light-shaped oils and the other who keeps the place up. Needless to say, I immediately decided I wanted a B&B, if only so I could get up early and bake everyone scones and just-picked apple compotes.
The first morning, our bellies filled with Richard’s Grand Marnier French toast and freshly-squeezed orange juice, we set off to Lake George to wander about as well as Prospect Mountain and as many farm stands and antique stores as I could get in before my husband started rolling his eyes. He held out an impressively long time. The foliage was perfect; I suppose a lot of people would have considered Columbus Day weekend the “peak” but I prefer the rusts, garnets and oranges that come a week later, as well as the thinned-out crowds. The air was something fantastic, with the whiff of a far-off campfire and a clarity that immediately filled our apparently-deprived heads with bounds of fresh air.
Fingers wrapped around warm mulled cider, we took quick tour through Saratoga Springs before heading home on Sunday with the feeling we’d been away for much longer than was the case; I think it was the whole getting-up-and-out-before 10 am thing, so foreign to our weekend routines. Once home, I made us a quick crumble with a quarter-peck of Macoun apples we’d bought at a roadside stand from a woman who explained how we could turn goose-necked squash into birdhouses.
Trying to keep in the foliage-tinged mood for as long as this temperate October will permit, I also concocted an acorn and butternut squash soup last night. Now, I should confess something here: I’ve been looking for a butternut squash soup, not laden with cream or sugar or cinnamon or any of the other things that raise something inherently sweet to a saccharine level, for some time and have had little luck finding “the one.” The confession part is that there’s simply no reason I shouldn’t have made this already, with or without a recipe. I knew exactly the way I wanted it to taste, I just lacked the confidence to experiment, which is a shame. But, this recipe called to me.
Once you are done with the laborious task of peeling, seeding and hacking up the uncooked squash, the bulk of your work is done, and the base flavor leaves ample room for tweaking. I ix-nayed the sugar and some of the cream, seasoned it heavily with salt and pepper and shifted the flavors slightly with dried ginger and cumin. It was… almost exactly what I was looking for. That said, I encourage you to go out on your own ochre-tinted, leaf-crunching walks in no particular direction, come home and give this a try with whatever beckons you from your spice rack, as I think it could wear any number of flavors with charm.
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1996
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
For soup: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
For croutons: Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.
* If you are not confident in your knife skills or lack a very very sharp one, I’d suggest roasting the squash, halved and seeded, on a baking sheet coated lightly with oil at 425 until soft, scooping it into the pot, and cooking it the rest of the way there. Peeling, seeding and chopping raw squash is not the easiest endeavor. Alternatively, you could buy butternut squash already peeled and chopped in many stores. Haven’t seen acorn yet.
Deb’s Apple Crisp/umble
Or, evidence of why recipe-writing is not my forte.
1 deep pie dish, or frankly, any old dish you feel like baking in
1/4 peck of your favorite apples to bake with, or whatever the lady is selling that day
1 tablespoon flour
1-2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of allspice
Peel, core and chop all of your apples, dropping the pieces in the baking dish as you go. I find that the quarter-peck fills a deep dish pie mold nicely; you might need more or less depending on your dish. Stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, sprinkle over the apples, and toss until the apples are evenly coated.
5-6 tablespoons unsalted or salted butter, your choice, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dried oatmeal
Up to 1 cup all-purpose flour
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal into the melted butter. Now, here’s where all of your personal choice comes in. You could:
- Add 1/3 of a cup of finely chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Toast them first to deepen their flavor
- Whirl the nuts in a food processor to get a fine meal, so they mend with the flour better and are less crunchy on top
- Replace some or up to 1/2 the flour with whole wheat flour
- Add more spices
- Add more sugar – the amount I suggested will make it mildy, subtly sweet
Add flour a couple tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms a dry crumble. I find the more I add, as long as I don’t add so much that there is flour that can’t adhere at all, the better it comes out. Taste a clump, and adjust the sugar and spice to taste.
Sprinkle this over your apples and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the apples underneath are bubbling in their thickened juices. If the top browns before this happens, cover it with foil until the apples are done.
Serve alone or with ice cream, whipped cream, creme fraiche, plain or vanilla yogurt or dusted with powdered sugar.
146 comments on winter squash soup with gruyere croutons
awwwwwwwwwww. this totally makes me homesick. i’m from elmira, ny and i live in texas- which has a poor excuse for an autumn. poo houston! i’ve been cooking/baking like it’s cold outside. i just crank up the a.c. and pretend. there really is nothing like new york- any part of new york. thanks for the pics!
an awesome restaurant near my boarding school has butternut squash soup with bleu cheese crumbled in it…. although it sounds weird it’s really awesome
Mmmm! I’m still trying to forget those brownies, and now you’re talking about apple crumble and GM French toast. I shouldn’t even read your posts until the weekend when I have time to indulge in all these feats of feasting.
About squash soup… just made one myself (recipe from my aunt), well worth trying. The best part is not having to peel the squash until it’s roasted.
1 large butternut squash, cut in half. Bake at 350 degrees/45 min.(cut side down on baking dish)
Chop 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek (white part mostly). Saute in butter in large pot.
Add cooked squash and 2 liters chicken stock to pot and bring to a boil.
Add one apple (peeled and chopped), one bay leaf, and one tsp. sugar.
Simmer 40 min. Remove bay leaf and mash/puree.Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a chunk of brie and chives in each soup bowl.
Bawdy Penguin – Right now, I love it, but come February I am going to be very envious of your warmth. That’s about when my love affair with cooler weather comes to a screeching halt each year.
Elle – I think anything that contrasts the thick, smooth and sweet nature of the squash is good, including blue cheese! Yum.
Sweet Potato – Thanks for reminding me to add that note to the recipe. Your soup sounds delicious!
I found that soup recipe a year or so ago on Epicurious and I LOVE IT. The croutons are so tasty and the soup is delicious. I was actually thinking about making this soup over the weekend…yum.
All things Fall….wonderful.
The apple crumble looks yummy! I also LOVE your pictures, they’re great!
So jealous. Our fall lasts about a week in the South. Even then, it sometimes gets confused and thinks it’s still summer.
Fall is SO over in MN, it’s sad. But the squash, apples and other Fall produce is still alive and well. Your pics are fabulous.
Deb — Beautiful pictures! Mind my asking, what kind of camera and lens did you use for this trip? LOVE the colors!!
I love that first shot with the flame-colored leaves and the brilliant blue sky behind them. Gorgeous and glorious.
I don’t get all this food talk – you have become a food site, a good one nonetheless, but what happened to your talk about life site?
Are you pregnant?
Squash soup is so versatile, I’ve been making a different version every week with the butternut squash from my garden. This week I pureed parsnips into the soup and it gave it a wonderful texture and less sweet taste.
Sarah – You should. And then report back here what spices you used! I’m very curious as to how others would interpret it.
Peabody, Claire, Kate – Thank you.
Jennifer – I remember that last year around here it was very dry and all the leaves fell off the trees super-early and there was almost no leaf-peeping. It felt unfair to be abruptly catapulted into winter and I railed against it for months. Let’s hope I’m less of a whiny pain-in-the-butt this year! Where are you in the South?
Pictures – We used this 50 mm. I’ve been going back and forth between this and the kit lens since we bought the 50 this summer, I always adjust badly to new things. But, this weekend I fell in love with it again – it takes in so much light, the pictures are so much sharper, and at $70, it’s a great deal. Now, if only they made $70 macro lenses, sniffleÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Julie – Thank you.
Sassy – Not knocked up. Still talking about life, blissfully dull as it may be.
Brilynn – I like that parsnip idea a lot! I think the flavors would compliment each other well. I might try to sautÃƒÂ© them in the beginning next time. Yum.
In other news, I’m thinking about doing this NaBloPoMo thing that Mrs. Kennedy has ingeniously cooked up, but I’m terrified of the commitment. I mean, photos + cooking + writing EACH day? Hoo boy. That said, I cook several things a week, not all of which I get to posting about, so perhaps that would allow me to stretch it out. And, it would give me the perfect excuse to buy the Mighty Girl book, though I in fact love hearing about what you had for lunchÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Anyone else thinking about it? Think it’s doable without diluting the quality of the content? (That is – cough – assuming there is some to being with.)
My sister and I adapted a butternut squash soup from a Jerusalem artichoke soup recipe (since JAs could not be found where we normally shopped – I still don’t know what they look like). I made the squash version a few weeks ago and, if I do say so myself, it’s the BEST soup I’ve ever made! I love the roasted squash idea, though – I might try that next time I make it.
Recipe (from memory, so amounts are not exact, but IMHO, that doesn’t really matter…)
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped
4 white potatoes, chopped with skins on
1 large sweet onion
minced fresh ginger
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups skim milk (original recipe called for cream, but I can’t do that to my butt)
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
fresh mint, chopped
juice of 1 fresh lime
Saute onion and ginger together until soft & fragrant. Add stocks, squash, potato, salt & pepper. Boil until veggies are soft. Use immersion blender until veggies are well blended. Add milk, blend some more until colour is consistent. Stir in mint & lime juice, simmer about 10 minutes and serve.
Tastes even better the next day and I freeze this soup for a cold winter day later on or as an appetizer for a dinner party. Goes great with garlic bread.
Love your site, by the way! Very inspirational!
LOVE your site Deb. A friend who knows how much I love to cook sent me a link a few weeks ago. I can’t get enough. I love your pictures, words and recipes!
My husband and I live about 15 min drive outside of Vancouver, BC and our fall is just beautiful. It’s my favourite time of the year.
6 years ago my boyfriend (now husband) and I had curry pumpkin soup at a quaint little German restaurant no where near where we live and I had been trying to find a recipe for it ever since. I am not a soup person, but this was just too tasty! I finally found my recipe a few weeks ago. The recipe is for butternut squash instead of pumpkin, but I followed it to the letter so I know how it would taste, and how to adjust it to suite my taste later. I found the butternut squash alone a little bland and will try the recipe again but with pumpkin instead in hopes of a little more flavour. What I love about this recipe is there is no cream in it (but it could certainly be added). In fact, it is vegetarian. The liquid used is apple cider (not the alcohol kind). Anyway, I am really happy I finally found this recipe. There have been a couple of duds in the past and I was worried I’d have to drive 5 hours anytime I wanted curried pumpkin soup. And with working full time and being a part time student, that just isn’t feasible.
I think the last time I made it I left out the cumin and ginger, and I probably went overboard on the thyme and sage, because I always do that. And instead of a blender I used my indispensible IMMERSION BLENDER which is the bomb.
I will report back once I make it again. :)
Deb…how you speak to me with that soup recipe. I AM SO MAKING it this weekend. I wish I could take some with me to Texas next weekend and serve it to my boyfriend. He loves the recipes that come from this website. PS, the brownies are/were divine and eat them frozen or heated in the microwave…YUMMY!
Thanks for the 50mm tip! one last question – you did not say what kind of camera body you have (the rebel?) THANKS AGAIN!!
This all looks and sounds great. Thanks!
The Barefoot Contessa has a great recipe for butternut squash soup–it’s just the squash, an onion sauteed with a lot of curry powder, one or two apples, and a dash of apple cider. Really easy and really tasty–the curry powder gives it a kick and prevents it from being too much like a dessert. Love the photos–just beautiful (especially the light on the apples and the pumpkins.)
I love (check often) your beautiful blog, and having grown up in Glens Falls (the “city” closest to Hadley and Lake George, it was fun to see that you went there!! I now live in Lake Placid- further up the road and further into the mountains, where it has already snowed (and though I am a skier, thankfully, melted) I love your blog- and was hooked from the moment I saw the title “Soup to Build a Dream On”. Please never stop.
This soups sounds amazing! I’ll definitely will be trying it in these cold months to come. Thanks for posting.
Thanks so much for answering – I can’t wait to read what types of food you write about when you are pregnant!
Smitten, I love your site. I’m a long time reader, because I can’t get enough of your pictures, recipes, conversations about life, etc. I’m an ex-Chicago girl, now living in Manila, Philippines. Though I don’t miss winter, not even one tiny smidge, I do miss fall. Okay, let me clarify. I miss a white Christmas, but other than that…anyway, LOVE your site. Made the vodka pasta last week for my card group. Alas, all ladies and no guys, but they loved it anyway. Making the brownies tonight. Oh, and by the way, could you post a couple of times a day please?!?! LOL!!! I’m awake while you’re asleep so I’ve read your post by 7am and need another to keep me going until 5pm! Thanks for the entertainment!!
Oooooooooohhh! I worked at a place called Silver Bay on Lake George summers through college. Friends and I would occasionally return in the fall and I know – it is just so absolutely gorgeous up there. I am in the midst of my own little autumn-gasm in Boston, after a long weekend in Stowe over Columbus day. Unfort. for me, the apples we picked aren’t making their way into tarts and sauce as originally planned – no.time.in.my.days. Your site is alleviating a little of the angst by allowing me some vicarious fall food cooking moments! :)
Karla – This sounds delicious. I bet the potatoes, lime and mint would add nice contrasts to the butternut. And the garlic bread! Thanks for sharing!
Lisa – I’m very flattered, thank you. Curry and apple cider sound fantastic! One of the reviewers in the Epicurious recipe above actually suggested replacing a cup of the stock with wine, which sounded intriguing, being a wino myself. I didn’t get to it in the end, but suspect that with this, too, the acidic contrast will bode well for the overall flavor. Thanks for sharing
Sarah – I try not to wax too poetic about kitchen gadgets, since better cooks than I have gotten by without them for eons, but I’m with you on the immersion blender. It is a godsend. If I only made two soups a year, it would still have paid for itself in time-saving. But, of course, we know that’s not the case! As for you spices, I bet fried sage leaves would be a nice topping for the soup, too.
Jenifer – Let us know how it goes! Epicurious rocks the house, as far as I am concerned, for the reviews alone. I love having a fair warning ahead of time if a recipe might be a dud. I wish all sites did this.
Pictures – We use the Canon EOS Digital Rebel; I think we have the very first model, snagging it after the XT came out and the price came down a little. Now I’m eyeing the XT, body-only, but its still $$ and insofar, he and I have shared well!
Tammi – No, thank you.
Gretchen – As we know, I’m all-too-obsessed with her. This sounds great. No cream, too!
Amy, Jen – Aw, thank you.
Sassy – Oh that should be easy: aged goat cheeses, wine, and probably everything else on the verboten list. Sniffle.
Topicgirl – I so wish I could post two times a day, but I have the inconvenience of a day job (actually, with layoffs looming, I shouldn’t make such jokes) as well as only two bellies to fill! Plus, my husband made dinner last night and (shudder!) didn’t take pictures.
Smallstatic – Autumngasm, I love that. Thank you.
I signed up for NaBloPoMo because of you. I’m already doing NaNoWriMo, so the NaBloPoMo might actually make my blog worse for a little bit, but we’ll see. I think it’s a bit harder for you and I since we specifically food blog whereas other blogs could just blather on about anything… Good luck!
I’ve just discovered your site (link from queserasera.org) and just wanted to say it’s absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to many more posts!
Just discovered your site– wow– great stuff! My girlfriend and I are fellow bloggers and fellow New Yorkers. We’ve been dying to take a trip like this for ages.
Autumn seems like it’s already slipping away in Brooklyn. Aaaaaaah! At least we can live vicariously through your great photos and recipes. :)
OK, so I made the soup today! I decided to peel the butternut squash with my potato peeler (the kind with the horizontal blade) and then cut lengthwise into slices (I bought squash(es?) that didn’t flare out too much at the bottom so they’d slice evenly.) I sliced the acorn squash too, but didn’t peel it. Then I roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. This was by far the easiest method for cooking the squash I’ve tried so far, and I’ve made this recipe four or five times. I used only sage and thyme again, and I really like the roasted flavor as opposed to just cooking the squash chunks in chicken broth. Oh, and I left out the sugar – it was sweet enough without it. Mmm-mmm GOOD!
P.S. Yesterday I made the Three Cheese Lasagna w/Italian Sausage from epicurious.com and it KICKED ASS. I love that recipe! I was inspired by the mac-n-cheese post…my whole apartment smells great.
So, Deb, here’s a general question for you, inspired by this recipe. I’m still vegetarian, so I generally replace chicken stock with veg stock in most recipes. Sometimes it works well, sometimes, well, not so much.
Do you have a (purchased) veg stock that you use, or used to use, to replace chicken stock in recipes? If you have one you make, that would work too, but realistically, I’m more likely to end up with the purchased variety…
i’m researching pumpkin soups at the moment and i’m wondering if you think this recipe could work replaced with pumpkin – and if you’d alter the seasoning at all for the pumpkin.
I loved your receipe. It was my first soup. My family loved it.
I don’t cook much but this has inspired me to take up cooking.
Thank you so very much.
My husband is a chef and makes his crumble by cooking the two components separately (ie. the topping on a baking sheet for much less time). The first time I saw him do it I thought he was mad, but after tasting the finished product – perfectly cooked fruit and beautifully crisped but not overdone topping, I understood.
Great soup! I just made it this evening and it went down very well in my household. I followed the directions exactly, except for adding a handful of stilton blue cheese crumbles towards the end. For those who are trying to decide whether or not to try this recipe out, I highly recommend it.
This is a deliciously velvety soup. I used a variety of squash that we had from our organic delivery this week. I didn’t need to add the cream. It was silky and very creamy without it.
i made a vegan version of this soup tonight–used earth balance for butter, and soy creamer for whipping cream. it came out great! thanks for the recipe!
I’m making this soup as I write and the directions says, “stir in cream and sugar,” but I can’t find sugar anywhere on the ingredients, so I don’t know how much to add or if it’s just to taste. If there is an exact amount, I’d be curious to know. Thanks…my kitchen smells delightful.
Oh, and I caught my microwave on fire trying to get my sqash to steam enough to cut it. Make sure you remove that pesky stem!
this is by far the BEST butternut squash bisque type recipe i’ve ever had. it’s one that i make over and over all winter long. it’s just so great! thank you, deb.
I second Sybil! I just made this last night and I can’t get enough of it. So delicious and flavourful. The sage and thyme really added that extra something. I added an apple myself to put “my” stamp on it. Will definitely be serving this to friends and family this fall+winter!
I made this soup last night, sans the croutons, and oh my goodness I could die from the delicious. I think next time I’d bump up the spice a bit, but it’s still awesome exactly as it is. It tastes like fall. I also roasted up the squash seeds with salt, and my roommates and I promptly devoured those.
And Rebekah, my guess is that the original recipe called for sugar and that it just got left in the directions by accident even though Deb didn’t use any. I left it out and when I make this again, I don’t plan on adding any.
i’m a little late to this one, BUT…
i just got a new immersion blender (delivered today!) and i immediately searched your site for some new recipes to try. i think i’ll attempt this one next week… it looks delicious! that, and all the talk of saratoga springs (where i grew up) and lake george made me all sorts of homesick. this time of year is my favorite time to be in upstate ny and especially the adirondacks. i think a little fall soup might serve well as comfort food.
at the risk of sounding like a complete doof…what is 1/4 peck of apples???
Hi… Just chiming in very after the fact to say that I made this soup for Thanksgiving lunch and it is FABULOUS. Couldn’t source an acorn squash in Brussels so used one of the local squashes known as potimarron. (Butternut is no problem.) Used dried thyme and sage without any ill effect. My 12 year old daughter liked it so much that we made it again. Thanks, Smitten Kitchen!
Just wanted to say that even though I am NOT a recipe person (I tend to throw in what I think will work/what I have on hand and the net result – good or bad – is likely to never be repeated) I tried this one and love it so much that I have made a batch of soup about every two weeks for the last few months. And I keep following your recipe :) I admit that I just to butternut squash and I do use that pre-cut stuff from Trader Joe’s because..well…its so quick. But THANK YOU. awesome recipe. Love it, love it, love it.
I never knew what an acorn squash was. When I saw it I knew….
This was good. I think I like the sweet butternut squash soups better… but that is a personal taste preference. The Gruyere croutons contrasting the flavor of the soup was awesome.
This was wonderful soup! Didn’t have an acorn squash but I did rescue the remnants of a butternut. Made just 1/2 recipe since I cook for one. . .had enough for lunch yesterday. I didn’t fool around pureeing it – but did use a fine wire whisk and mashed the chucks that hadn’t cooked down. The croutons with Gruyere made it a company recipe. . . .I think I’m hooked on this site. . .:)
we made ours without the cream & butter & it came out just fine. DELISH! thanks!
hey deb, this butternut recipe looks awesome and gives me an excuse to use my immersion blender, which i love!
i would love to use the soup as a first course. what would you suggest as a main course after this soup?
thanks! LOVE the site!
I’ve been making this recipe for Thanksgiving for years. I love it so much! I had a lot of trouble peeling the acorn squash so I tried baking it first and scooping it out. I think the cream adds a lot. I tend to store a batch, then add it as I serve it.
I made this today and it was delicious. My husband wasn’t sure that he would like it, but ate 3 bowls of it! I think I’m going to add this to our Thanksgiving menu.
in the hunt for Gruyere cheese to make these croots, I came across an Applewood Smoked Gruyere and figured what the hell. And let me tell you, what a difference the smokiness brings to this recipe. as you can imagine. it really works well with the spices in the soup. try it out if you find it!
I just made this last night and I am so glad I did! It is the perfect comfort soup. I was skeptical to make it because I am not into sweet soups so I usually avoid butternut squash but the cumin really savors it up. Adding this to my repertoire…now I just have to master butchering a squash. Those things are gnarly!
I already have some butternut squash puree (leftover from making raviolis) but I don’t know how to translate the portion based on you recipe of 8 cups squash. Can you help me?
I’m officially set – it’s -30 Celsius (-22 F) with the wind chill and I have this soup to keep me warm and happy. I love your site and it inspires me to cook bake and create, but I’m running out of people to feed with everything I try!
This was fantastc and totally hit the late-fall-spot. The croutons were like a fancy grilled cheese. We added a dollop of sour cream to the soup, too. Mmm. Thanks for all of your recipes, Deb! I’m a slave to your archive.
Really nice squash soup. I am not making the croutons, so I will add a dash of light sour cream before serving. Nice break from the Holiday eating madness.
I’ve made this at least ten times – definitely one of my favorite soups!
I crushed some garlic into the butter before making the croutons and they were sensational. I also love adding yellow curry powder to any and all recipes with butternut squash – you can thank me later for the magical discovery. Overall – YUM all over.
I found the soup to be too thick when I stickblended everything – I added milk :) DELISH
I have been reading your recipes and stories for about a year now and just love your touch. This is my first post. I am cooking up a variant of your winter squash soup as I type (Squash is baking) — squash soup is a favorite for October and reading your post about the trip to upstate NY just put me in the mood to cook on this grey in-and-out of sunshine fall day. I happen to have some gruyere on hand, so will go out and get those baquettes–that will be a new touch for me.
So far I’ve tried the Red Pepper Soup (last Christmas eve– a Delicious success), the lemon tart– less so, only I liked it, it reminded me of France; your Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble has been a huge repeat summertime hit with my three guys, and now I’ll try this soup. Most of all, I wanted to convey that I just love the tone you strike- irreverent, fun, creative. Reading your blog puts me in the mood to be creative in the kitchen, too, as well as offering a lot of good tips. The photos are lovely, as a parent of older teenage to young adult “kids” I love walking down memory lane with your parenting stories. And you hit the right notes with the sly nods in the direction of your husband, love, but subtle, and always served with gentle wit. Thank you– keep up your fabulous site!
Hi Deb, Before I ask my question I want to tell you that i made the acorn squash quesadillas for my boyfriend. After a bite, he turned to me and said that if he were served it at what he considers the best Mexican restaurant in Boston, he’d think they’d outdone themselves! Thanks for giving me the pleasure of making him so happy.
I have a gluten-free friend and want to make the butternut/ acorn squash soup. Someone else at the party is vegetarian- do you think it will work with vegetable stock? And, if I make sure the stock is gluten free and use gluten free bread, will it be a gluten free recipe? I think so, but wanted your opinion.
Thanks so much for your wonderful website,
Mmm I just made a close approximation of this (I.e. using all the same ingredients but with my measurements to suit the small amount of leftover roasted butternut pumpkin I had) and it is just *delicious*!!! I deliberately made mine extra thick & it was wow :) Thanks again for great recipes!
I made this soup last night and was blown away by how delicious it was. I am not a fan of squash and didn’t know what to do when I found myself in possession of a couple. Thank you so much for this recipe and your website; it is a favorite of mine.
I’ve made a number of your recipes with great success, but I couldn’t not comment after the reception this soup got at Thanksgiving tonight. It was by far the most luxurious and flavorsome soup I’ve ever tried, and the cumin is so perfect with the flavors of the squash. I didn’t have ginger or cream; I can’t wait to try it with the ginger next time, but I don’t think anyone missed the cream. We garnished with some fennel because it was on hand, and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!
I made this soup for Thanksgiving this year and I can’t get over how delicious it was. It was the perfect addition to our turkey, potato, stuffing feast. I doubled the recipe and the leftovers fed my family through the following day. I kinda stuck with the original recipe (Deb posted the link at the top of the page) and also added an apple, which I roasted along with the squash. I can’t wait to make it again!
I made a half batch of the soup using only acorn squash. It was incredibly smooth and flavorful! Definitely a keeper. I really appreciate the alternative to traditional, sweet squash soups that include apples and/or lots of sugar and cream.
Hi, in South Africa we add orange juice to Butternut soup along with a speck of curry powder.
Is it ideal to use the low-sodium chicken broth, or the reduced salt chicken broth?
You can use either.
I will be diving into this soup – can hardly wait!!!!
We all loved it. I roasted the squash first and skipped the cream, but it’s a simple, quick recipe. My 8 year old made the apple crisp/umble and it was great too!
This recipe looks great. I have made a sweet potato soup very similar to this but thought I would try it with squash this time around. In my sweet potato soup I use a whole jalapeno which I think I will try in this soup.
I made the soup tonight and it was fantastic! I dislike sweet butternut squash soups and this one was not sweet, and had a ton of flavor. I will definitely be making this again!
Love this version of soup. However, I usually don’t have the will nor patience to hack up a squash like I’m in the squash mafia, so I roast it and then it gently releases her autumn goodness like an offering! Just cut in half, scoop out the seeds and use them as you prefer, and roast away. Tastes great that way too. For the vegans in my life, I make this in a base of coconut milk and it’s AMAZING. Sometimes I toss in other squash and a sweet potato or pumpkin whatever else hard squash I have around when I’m roasting the veggies and it’s wonderful.
However I do the base, I drizzle a balsamic reduction and a dash of salt with a sprinkle of thyme at serving time and it cuts the sweet, gives depth and tastes like heaven on earth.
Thanks for your great site and all the wonderful comments!
I love making soup but I hate how much time it can sometimes take. This was simple and delicious. I have a sweeter tooth so I doubled up on butternut squash, kept the thyme and sage, dropped the cumin and added a few dashes of nutmeg and cinnamon. Can’t wait to make it again. And again and again …
Easy and delicious. Gruyere croutons are a neat addition to squash soup. Next time I’ll bump up the ginger because the cumin really took over.
Just wanted to thank you for 2 absolutely delishious recipes. I still can’t get over how yummy that Butternut Squash soup was and all the trimmings were perfect. I was lucky enough to have some thyme and sage left in my herb garden barrel. So that made it extra special. This is a keeper recipe. Thank you so much.
I’m a blog reader not a commentor but had to write. I bought your book. First I made the pork chops with cider, horseradish and cider vinegar. Oh my. Then I made this soup. My husband didn’t want me to make it as he loves butternut squash soup and didn’t want to be disappointed with an average homemade version. Seriously – it was divine. I did leave out the acorn squash and just use butternut as it was what I had. I just can’t wait to cook my way through your book. It helps I’m reading Julia’s Life in France book right now and I can’t stop wanting to put the best things I’ve ever made on the table:) Thank you, from a homecook.
I made this with pink bananna squash. These are very “meaty”, I used 3lbs from the 20+ pound squash from my garden. I was uncertain how this would go over as I’ve never had squash soup before but was very pleased with my familys response. They loved it! Thanks so much!!!
Your book arrived yesterday and I fell asleep reading it. Needless to say, I awakened very early, very hungry! With my husband still asleep next to me and it being a dark, bitter cold NW Indiana-Great Lakes morning, I jumped onto your website for inspiration on something yummy to warm the day. Once again, Deb, you did not disappoint! You are my go-to for any recipe. Your photos are gorgeous, your writing is witty and pure, and each recipe is more mouth-watering than the next. (I’m sure we were bestie camp-friends in another life!) I had already planned to make an Iceberg Wedge Salad with Buttermilk Dressing from your book, but now that sleet and an ice storm are on the way, adding your Winter Squash Soup will be perfect! (Btw, for those with time constraints, Costco sells Organic Butternut Squash peeled, seeded and diced.)
The squash soup was a huge hit at home. I eliminated the cream and croutons for my gluten and lactose intolerant boyfriend. I simmered uncovered to reduce the broth a bit more. And I subbed fresh minced ginger for the ground ginger. That mix of herbs complements the squash just perfectly. Thanks for another hit recipe.
What a lovely recipe! I made it awhile ago but have been meaning to share with you how much I loved it! I also enjoy your blog in general and all your anecdotes that go along with the recipes. This recipe certainly made the cut onto my blog as well. :)
I just made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful. My bf doesn’t enjoy squash, but I found it delicious.
This was extremely silky and decadent and I didn’t even use the cream. Must be all that butter! Yum!
YUM…I didn’t use the cream either and it was divine! Threw in a couple handfulls of chopped baby carrots & 1.5 tsp of sweet curry as well. Topped w crumbled feta & served with garlic toast. I’m actually looking forward to this soup on leftover night 3!! This soup will be on heavy rotation this winter for sure. :o)
Love this recipe and it sounds delish! Question: do you think it will work fine cooking in the slow cooker?
KatieH — I think so.
In your recipe for the apple crumble, you said “1/4 peck of your favorite apples,” how much is a peck? Or what is a peck? Thanks! Love your blog and cookbook :)
Lauren — Yeah, that’s a terrible measurement for a recipe! Look for about 3 pounds. And thank you.
Can you please clarify the amount of chicken needed as I don’t understand what you wrote… thank you :)
If I don’t have any oatmeal, can I still make this apple crumble?
isabelle — That DOES look confusing. Broth is often sold here in 14.5-ounce cans. This requires 3. Each can contains just shy of 2 cups of broth, so you’re looking for about 5 1/2 cups of broth.
Hi, I’m not sure if you saw my earlier comment.. Deb, can I make the apple crumble without oatmeal?
Diane — Sorry, I missed your comment. You can’t just remove the oats, they provide body. You could fiddle around with extra flour if removing the oats, try to add enough to get the mixture crumbly. Texture will be different, softer, in the end.
Hey Deb, I just wanted to say that I LOVE this recipe. It’s the only squash soup that I make and it’s requested often by my family/friends. It’s just SO awesome! Thanks!!
This is very similar to my butternut squash soup, but I make mine much easier by cutting my squash into quarters, scooping out the seeds and cooking the quarters in my microwave until tender enough to easily peel skins off.
Meanwhile I sautee a large amount of chopped onions, celery and thin sliced carrots in butter in the bottom of my stock pot, adding the squash after the vegetables are tender.
Then I add the broth and simmer until very soft, but I use an immersion blender right in tbe pot to make quick work of blending and clean up a breeze.
I serve my soup with a generous dollup of sour cream , fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
This soup freezes beautifully, so I make a whole season’s worth a divy it into quart freezer bags.
I can’t wait to try this with he addition of acorn squash!
Hi All – I am making this for Thanksgiving, but I am a vegetarian. Will it be just as good using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Mandi — Yes, it will. But use a good one — I’ve had some terrible ones that tasted and looked like carrot puree. I haven’t found a favorite yet.
I used Pacifico veggie broth, and it’s excellent!!!!
Is it possible to make this with water rather than stock and just add a bit more spices? It seems like there are already a lot of flavors here so wondering if it could work? I have no stock on hand.
Oh and second question: would it be totally weird and horrible to just leave the skin on the butternut squash? Kind of like a hearty dish?
Squash soup is healthy and best recipe for winter. This work as a charger for our body stamina. Try making it in the winters for warm and delicious taste. Squash soup is a mouthwatering soup with a creamy look.
Just delicious! Ive been searching for a new squash soup recipe, and this was perfect. I believe the assortment of herbs is what appealed to me. Absolute keeper!
Hi Deb… Your apple crisp ..umble has inspired me to peel apples today. Another add for topping is .. coconut. Dorie Greenspan has coconut in her Cran-Apple Crisps in her (BAKING) cookbook. It works!
New to your site, and am absolutely loving it!! I scanned the comments and didn’t see this suggestion, but if I am redundant, I apologize. You can just hack your squash/pumpkin into halves or qtrs. and bake. Then scrape the flesh from the rind. That’s what I”ve done in the past. Easier than peeling and cubing, that’s for sure!
Can you use an immersion blender to make this soup?
I made the soup and croutons this weekend with a surplus of farmshare squash. I couldn’t find fresh sage anywhere in my hood but it was delicious with just the dried, jarred stuff substituted in. A really lovely balance of savory tastes, and the cheesy croutons were a delight. I used an immersion blender for the blending at the end and it worked swimmingly.
If I made this with frozen squash cubes would you reccomend I thaw it beforehand?
I have tired squash soup before and it’s come out meh. This is just right – rich, warm, and cozy. Cumin, who knew?? Since the stock I have comes in 32oz cartons, I used two and added another cup and a half of squash and a head of cauliflower. I upped the seasoning by another half portion, and doubled the cream. (I also did a big, lazy chop on the onions as it was getting pureed anyhow.) Putting some in the freezer for later and inhaling the rest now.
So I made this last night, following the instructions except using all butternut and subbing in dried herbs at 1/3 the amount of fresh.
I found it lacked body, so after blending I let it simmer for a while uncovered and then added double the cream. It still isn’t as thick as I prefer my butternut soups, but the flavour is decent (I’m pretty loyal to a curried butternut squash soup that involves roasting the cubed butternut, apple, and onion before simmering so I’m comparing this one to that). If I make this one again I’ll add a little less broth and possibly roast the squash before simmering.
You’re on your book tour now, and I know this is a very old post, but I thought you’d like to know that the link to the bed and breakfast you mention has been corrupted, or changed in someway. It now leads to a web domain site.
Hope you’re enjoying wherever you are now.
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and love it. I’d like to make it for Thanksgiving but I just found out my aunt is allergic to thyme, sage, and rosemary. Do you have any ideas for substitutions or ways to keep the flavor level up? Thanks!
Hi there! It calls for sugar towards the end with the cream, but I can’t find a measurement for it. I scrolled through the comments and I cant find anyone who asked you about it. Literally on last steps of making, so thought it was at least worth asking! :) Thanks!
I know this post is old af and I promise I’m not a hater but your description of the b and b owners as a “gay couple” kind of made me bristle. Aren’t they just a couple? Not making any judgements on you at all (seriously, I think you’re great) but you might want to edit that.
Also: totally making this soup, thanks.
I know this post is old but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. I roasted and froze some butternut squash. Do you have any benchmark or resource for the relationship between either the weight or volume of raw squash and the weight or volume of cooked squash? I have looked around the web and can’t seem to find anything.
Maybe 4 cups cubed might work out to … 3 cups mashed when roasted?
Roasted butternut squash, separately roasted 2 sliced Apples and 4 sliced up shallots. When I sampled it straight out of the oven It was so good i almost didn’t have enough to throw in the soup pot! Skipped the cream but dolloped Greek yogurt on top. Yum. I’ve also in the past added slow roasted tomatoes and a blob of tomato paste, different taste but still really good. Love your site, your recipes, your everything!
Just made this on a very cold May day. It was perfection, although we didn’t use the sage since there didn’t seem to be any chance to use the rest of the herb. BTW we roasted the squash beforehand (as opposed to peeling and chopping raw). The croutons are to die for.
As soon as our rainy fall season hits here on the west coast of Canada I think of this soup. I didn’t have as much chicken stock as called for so added some water. I had 2 apples that were on their last legs so I cubed and added those. I have also added pear and it works as well. I also add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper to bring out the flavour. I like this soup because I can add this or that or change up the spices and it still comes out great.
going to add …. I didn’t have any cream so I added in some coconut cream instead and it was great! I also should have increased the salt. Instead of the croutons I made Debs buttermilk buscuits
This was so perfect for the fall/winter transition I’m slowly getting out of denial about! I added a little white balsamic vinegar, lemon, and honey And it was just lovely. Thank you for this recipe!
When do you add the spices?
The soup looks amazing, and the croutons would be a perfect fit. Thanks.
If you microwave a butternut squash for just one minute, it peels super easy with a vegetable peeler.
What is “3 14 1/2-ounce” i dont understand the 3 14 part
It’s “three 14 1/2 ounce cans.” So, use three cans that are 14.5 ounces each.
Made this soup today, with a few changes based on what I had on hand and it was really great. Changes: I roasted two mini butternuts and 1 large acorn squash ahead of time so I didn’t have to chop it all; no fresh herbs so I used dried thyme and then the spices; subbed a leek for the onion; and used better than bouillon (vegetarian) for the stock. I used a stick blender right in the pot, which was immensely satisfying (to see it transform from lumps to smooth beauty)! Finally, for the croutons I used slices of a baguette with grated Parmesan instead of gruyere. This was relatively easy and very delicious.
I Made the squash soup this morning. I like the savory better than sweet
You had me at gruyere! This is on my menu this week, can’t wait to try!
My curbside grocery pickup listed acorn squash as “out of stock” (no they aren’t, but I’m not risking Covid to go in there so they can keep them all); however I did manage to procure a chayote squash in addition to the butternut squash. Lord, please let those two squash make a tasty soup…
Deb, the Butternut Squash Soup from Cooks Illustrated is just what you were looking for: just tastes like butternut squash, no sugar, no spices, just buttery yumminess (and croutons!)
The gruyere croutons are the star of this, I just want to make those and eat them for a snack :) I felt the soup was crying for some acid, red wine vinegar did the trick for me, but I think maybe apple cider vinegar could be a good addition. I’d love for this one to get a revamp! Such a good use of winter squash.
I made this for dinner and took into account several of the comments others have left. I happened to have a Honeycrisp apple in the fridge, so I peeled and added that with the squash. I used precut butternut squash from Costco & added a small acorn squash as well for a ratio of 3:1 butternut to acorn. At the end, I stirred in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to cut the sweetness just a bit. It was delicious, and I found it filling enough for a full meal without any sides. I was happy to have it for lunch the next day.
I made this soup with all butternut squash. Roasted it first for better flavor and used the 3 cups to Deb’s 4 of raw as suggested by Deb to a question. Worked perfect. However, did give it a little more flavor by adding some chicken boullion paste; about a full teaspoon. Was very squashy tasting before I did. And, used a whole 8 oz carton of heavy cream contributing to a wonderful creamy soup. Used immersion blender and it came out so delicious that friends were asking me for the recipe. I wouldn’t mind trying this recipe with pumpkin as well….
Can you tell me in which cook book of yours i can find the winter squash soup recipe in ?
My cookbooks are separate from the site; each are 85-90% recipes that haven’t been on the site so this will not be in there. However, my third cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, which will be out in November, has a winter squash soup in it — different flavors, though.
I keep making this every autumn and love it but I keeping changing when I add the spices (the cumin and ginger in the soup). When is the proper step to add these? With the herbs? At the end with the salt and pepper?
I like to add them earlier, so they fully develop.
I make this every fall. I follow the recipe and it’s great every time.
Made this for the second time tonight, instead using a little more butternut squash and chopped up apples in place of the acorn squash. Roasted the squash and apples before adding to the pot and — since I didn’t really measure them out — held back half the broth while cooking, adding more with the cream after pureeing. Bought baguette for croutons but made grilled cheese sandwiches instead. Delicious. Can’t go wrong. Can’t wait to make it all again.
Just a note to say this is still one of my all-time favorites! Made it again last night, and it was just the cozy, heart-warming, “maybe winter isn’t all bad” balm I needed.
Can you use frozen butternut squash for the soup?
Deeelicious!! Perfect for a winter’s night. I did make some changes with the spices:
– Not sure if I read something wrong as no other comments mention it, but I had to just about triple the spices to detect them! But once I did, the flavors were delicious together.
– I added some smoked paprika for additional warmth, and I found the salt and pepper to be much more necessary than just a slight seasoning at the end, so don’t be afraid to go hard with them.
-Doubled the cream for more richness.
Such a satisfying and relatively straightforward recipe. Will be pulling out again this winter!