Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pepitas

I never thought I’d be such a sucker for gourd-based soups. Here’s a fun new word I just learned, cucurbitaceous. It means of or pertaining to the gourd family. So one might say, I never thought I’d be such a sucker for cucurbitaceous soups. Also, for those who don’t know, pepitas are a type of pumpkin seed.

This one requires a little effort and a blender of some sort.

Ingredients. Serves 4.

Round 1

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, cut into ½ inch pieces)*
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)

Round 2

  • 1 tablespoon ginger (fresh, grated)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups water


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt (plus extra for garnish)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Round 1

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium high. Allow to come to temperature. Add squash, carrots, and salt. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Approximately 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened. Approximately 4 minutes.

Round 2

Stir in ginger, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt. Cook until fragrant. Approximately 1 minute. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, and then reduce heat to medium low. Stir occasionally cooking until a skewer can effortlessly run through a piece of squash. Approximately 12 minutes. Let cool off heat uncovered for 15 minutes.


While the soup is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet on medium high. Add pepitas, cayenne, and salt. Stir constantly, mixing ingredients until toasted and fragrant. Approximately 5 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.


It’s blender time. If you have an immersion blender, use it and save yourself the annoyance of having to blend in batches. What a pain in the ass. Otherwise, working in batches, purée the contents of the pot until smooth. Do not over process. We’re looking for a nice creamy consistency. Return soup to the pot on low heat and slowly whisk in the yogurt. Do not let the soup to simmer, the yogurt will curdle. Sprinkle with salt.

Transfer soup to serving bowls and top with a flourish of yogurt and toasted pepitas.


*Take your best peeler and go to town on that squash until all the hard outer peel is gone. As you peel, the meat of the squash will appear, a darker hue than the skin. Keep peeling until that hue covers the squash. Slice off the top and bottom ¼ inch of the squash, then split lengthwise. Grab a spoon and scoop out the innards like you would a pumpkin and discard. Don’t get too crazy as squash meat becomes stringy and can get confused with the innards. Once cleaned, flip over and cut into ½ inch pieces. One 2 pound butternut squash should yield approximately 4 cups.

This recipe originated from Milk Street.

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