roasted butternut squash soup Recipe

This is a classic roasted butternut squash soup with a twist: the addition of ancho chile powder and smoked paprika. It’s a great recipe for when you need to use up a large squash.

I think this soup would be perfect as a Thanksgiving starter. It is also good as a main-course soup, served with an escarole salad. I like butternut squash in this recipe, but you could also use sugar pumpkin, kabocha, or delicata squash, or a mix of these.

This recipe is based on the Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe in The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. The spices in his recipe are cinnamon and nutmeg. I wanted to get away from the classic “pumpkin” spices and go with something more savory and smoky, thus the substitution of the ancho chile and paprika.

To balance out the sweetness of the squash, I decided to garnish the soup with a lime sour cream and roasted, salted pumpkin seeds. This adds a bit of sour, creamy, crunchy, and salty to the soup and gives the soup a distinctive Mexican flavor. However, this soup is not very spicy. The ancho and paprika add flavor without too much heat.

Although it takes some time to roast the squash, this recipe is fairly simple and most of the time is hands-off. To make this recipe vegetarian, you could substitute the chicken stock with a good quality vegetable broth.

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4 lbsbutternut squash
2 Tbsolive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsunsalted butter
1 mediumonion, thinly sliced
1 tspancho chile powder
½ tspSpanish smoked paprika (mild)
4 cupschicken stock

Lime crema

½ cup sour cream or Mexican crema
2 tspfreshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Split the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Discard seeds or save them for roasting.
  3. Transfer the squash to a foil-lined baking sheet with the cut side up. Rub olive oil on squash and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Roast the squash until a knife inserts easily into the squash and it is completely tender, about 1¼ hours. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, while the squash is cooling, melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned.
  6. Add the ancho chile powder and smoked paprika to the onion and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the chicken stock.
  8. Scoop the roasted squash out of its skin and transfer the flesh to the pot.
  9. Use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, adding additional stock or water if necessary to get to the desired consistency.
  10. Heat the soup to a simmer before serving.
  11. To make the lime crema, stir together the sour cream and lime juice.
  12. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with about 1 tablespoon of lime crema and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds.

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