Butternut Pumpkin Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

The leaves are slowly, slowly changing colour and there is an ever so slight chill in the air now that Fall has officially started.  But if you missed those signs of the new season then every shop seems to have pumpkins piled up on display.  There are so many varieties and I’m not actually sure if they are all for eating or just displaying on the front porch.  The choices seem endless but I always seem to reach for the butternut pumpkin, known as a butternut squash here in these parts.


The most memorable way I have eaten a butternut pumpkin was one cooked on a kettle BBQ in South Africa – I guess then it was a braai, not a BBQ.  The butternut was halved and stuffed with feta, sundried tomatoes, spring onions and herbs then wrapped in foil and cooked.  Mmm … I think I’ll be firing up the BBQ to make this over the weekend.  I wonder if I could track down some boerewors here in the Bay area.


Pumpkin soup is one of the most requested warming meals by my kids so I decided to try a classic version (I usually make one with a bit of curry powder).  I used a basic method for cooking any type of vegetable soup by sauteing onions, carrots, celery and garlic and then adding my chosen vegetables, the pumpkin and a bit of potato, and then stock.  You could make other vegetable soups using the same method.  A good basic recipe to have up your sleeve to keep the chill at bay as the months roll by.


Fall not only brings pumpkins, but also apples.  Last year we went apple picking and loved it so I decided to return to Watsonville with the kids.

Apple Orchards

Apple Orchards

Apple Picking

Apple Picking

We are eating our way through many, many pounds of freshly picked apples.  Delicious.  Golden Delicious.

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut pumpkin soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
30g unsalted butter
1 – 2 brown onions, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 -2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small chilli (optional)
1 large butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeds scooped out and chopped in 5cm pieces
1 potato, peeled and chopped
800ml – 1 litre of chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over a medium heat.  Add the onions saute for a few minutes before adding the carrot, celery, garlic and whole chilli.  Add a good pinch of salt and turn the heat to low.  Saute for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the pumpkin, potato and stock.  Bring the soup up to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes.  Puree the soup in a blender and serve with some warm, crusty bread.

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11 Responses to Butternut Pumpkin Soup

  1. Brooke says:

    Hi Nat, as always a lovely post and beautiful photos. What kind of camera and lens do you use at the moment? I know you’ve told me but I can’t remember. Love this glimpse of your life xxx

    • natalie says:

      Thanks Brooke! The camera is a Canon EOS 5d mark ii and the lens is Canon zoom lens 24-105mm 1:4. I’m yet to fully understand and grasp all that the camera does but it is fun learning. There is so much here that is just stunning and I wish I could be documenting more but I do feel a photograph would not do it justice. You will just have to come and visit!

  2. gourmet goddess says:

    hi, the soup you made sounds delicious and i always think that curry gives it that unami factor, Ina Garten makes a fantastic pumpkin soup and adds apples and apple cider – it is impressive.

    the pumpkins you have photographed that are warty looking and that pale coloured pumpkin colour are considered heirloom pumpkins, brought here by the pilgrims on the mayflower , they are usually for decorative purposes. the really orange ones and oval shaped are what people carve for halloween, and I believe some people also use the flesh for pumpkin pie. But trust me it is easier, and much more cost effective to buy a can of Libby’s pumpkin puree … many people have gone down that route and ruefully regretted starting it . you have to boil down the pulp ad nauseum to release all the water ….

    pumpkins are very low on the food totem pole in this country , i remember having roast jap pumpkin, butternut squash pumpkin and maybe some parsnips and pink eye potatoes back in australia – that was to die for.

    there is always a time for pumpkin soup and it just tastes so much better when there is a chill in the air.

    take care

    • natalie says:

      That Ina Garten soup sounds like Fall in a bowl! Which book is it from?
      Another brilliant recipe for pumpkin soup is a Thai inspired one from the Spirit House – Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Prawns. I haven’t had that one for awhile and I should!
      Wow, you have some pumpkin facts up your sleeve! I need someone like you to walk me through the markets here and give me a run down on all the varieties! It is rather overwhelming but it is certainly a visual feast.

      • gourmet goddess says:

        Hi Natalie, sorry for the delay, but I was beginning to doubt myself where I had found this recipe.

        It is called Butternut Squash and Apple soup , from her “parties” book , the second one she wrote- one of the older ones page 221.

        The adjustment I make to this soup is cut back on the 2 cups of apple , depending on the brand of apple juice or cider you use , they can be rather sweet- so start with just 1 cup then add incrementally and tasting and adjusting as you go.

        can you post the thai style soup you mentioned ? sounds delicious.


        • natalie says:

          Thanks so much! Yes I’ll get around to that Thai recipe one day but in the meantime go and look it up on the Spirit House website. It is there. It is a restaurant/cooking school in Yandina, Queensland. Very delicious.

          • gourmet goddess says:

            thanks , found the website – however there seems to be a virus attached to the file and my laptop will not let me download it ….. ( thank you norton !!!) I am pretty sure I can put something together with a thai flavouring.

            thank you

  3. Beth says:

    How are you getting used to the opposite seasons Nat? It still confuses me!
    I think Pumpkin soup has become a favourite since moving to Australia, in fact I use pumpkin in salads and risotto dishes quite often. It’s not something that I ever cooked much with in the UK.
    By the way, I baked the rasberry and yoghurt cake that you posted a good while ago and it was declared “the best cake” I’ve ever made by Neil!

    • natalie says:

      I think I have adjusted now to the seasons. For the last year I have been out of sync having left Australia at the end of winter and arrived here is the US for the last days of summer. I was craving seafood, salads and BBQS all winter but now I’ve had my summer fix I’m looking forward to the cooler weather. Pumpkins are popular in Australia and they are so versatile but I only cook them in savoury dishes. I haven’t yet embraced the sweet pumpkin dishes that are popular here.
      I’m glad to hear the raspberry and yoghurt cake was a hit with Neil. Lucky it is such an easy one to whip up! Nat x

  4. The small sugar pumpkin is the one to use if you decide to do a from-scratch pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin soup. Using canned pumpkin is so big in baked goods here, not sure if you do that or not? Pumpkin muffins or bread (with or without choc chips), pumpkin pancakes, waffles, etc. It goes on and on. Pumpkin coffee cake is so good! Let me know if you need some recipes 🙂 Definitely my favorite time of the year. We will be going to a pumpkin patch at the end of October, so much fun for the kids. I will enjoy a caramel apple and fresh lemonade myself.

    • natalie says:

      Essie has been asking me to make a pumpkin pie since last Thanksgiving and I’ve yet to deliver so I might need to give it a go. I would love a pumpkin bread or muffin recipe if you have recommendations! The sound of the caramel apple and lemonade sounds idealic.

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