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Butternut Squash Soup

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
40 mins

Chef notes

This soup skirts the line between sweet and savory in the most perfect way. Traditional dessert ingredients like honey, apples and vanilla bean play off the natural sweetness of the squash, while the aromatic onions and vegetable stock keep it grounded in a savory flavor profile.

Swap option: Serving this soup with the warm scent of the toasted aromatics and seasonal pumpkin bowls makes a big impression. But if you're short on time, it will taste just as delicious served in a regular bowl.


  • 2 butternut squash
  • Butter, cubed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped out
  • Honey
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Toasted Aromatics
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup whole allspice
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander
  • 1/4 cup whole pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup whole nutmeg (broken into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup star anise (broken into pieces)
  • 1 cup cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
Roasted Pumpkin Soup "Bowls"
  • 8 small pumpkins/gourds, tops cut off and seeds removed


    For the soup:


    Preheat oven to 350°F.


    Cut both butternut squash in half vertically and remove the seeds. Place the squash cut side up on a sheet tray.


    In each piece, place a cube of butter and season with salt, cinnamon, vanilla and drizzle with honey.


    Place in the oven and roast for about 40-45 minutes or until soft and tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the squash.


    In a medium size pot add a drizzle of vegetable oil, the sliced onion and granny smith apples and sauté until translucent.


    Add the roasted squash and deglaze the pan with the apple cider. Add the vegetable stock and simmer on low for 20 minutes.


    Add heavy cream and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste.

    For the toasted aromatics:


    Using a mallet break nutmeg, star anise and cinnamon sticks inside a gallon storage bag covered in a dish towel.


    Combine the spices in a bowl and mix.


    Over medium-high heat, warm the aromatics until they begin to slightly smoke.

    For the roasted pumpkin soup "bowls":

    Place pumpkins skin side up on a sheet pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, at 350°F, until slightly soft.

    To serve:


    Place the toasted aromatics around the base of a large plate or charger.


    Place the roasted pumpkins in the center of the plates or chargers.


    Ladle the soup into the hot in pumpkins and serve.