Wintery Butternut Squash Soup

I'm sure most of you would attest that if you're living in a climate where your winter's are cold , you think cold, snowy, blistery, wet, dark, cold, dreary, depressing, did I mention cold? I admit, there are a few things I love about winter here in Toronto. I really don't mind the snow so much since with all the snow, there's usually lots of sunshine. After a big snowfall, there's peace and quiet in the air, except for the scraping of the shovels on the sidewalk. I love my street after a good snow dump as my neighbours finally emerge from their homes after seeing them last in late fall, to clean their walks and interact with the others while lending a hand if needed.
Other great things about winter, snuggling up by the fire, hot chocolate (with Bailey's of course), and soup. I love a yummy bowl of soup to warm me up from the inside out, but it's not something I think of making often. I have a few favourites and they each serve a purpose.
One is a common Greek Chicken Soup (actually, it's called egg and lemon soup) which I swear, is the magic ticket to curing the common cold. I try and make this when I'm feeling run down and I can feel a cold coming on. Even works when I've past that point and in full on sick mode. Maybe I'll run that recipe the next time I get sick (I'm knocking on wood as we speak!)

The other soup is love is a Butternut Squash soup. You really can't go wrong with making this, I've tried so many variations and I'm sure there are many more for me to explore. This time I used a combination of a few recipes I had made in the past and a few that I hadn't, and then came up with my own idea of what I wanted. Recipes that inspired me were one from Martha Stewart (I love her!), one from LCBO, and one from Earthbound Farm Organic.

So this is how I did it....

1 medium Butternut Squash

1 medium Yam or Sweet Potato

2 Pears (you can use apples too)
2 cloves of Garlic
1 medium Onion

5 cups of Vegetable or Chicken Stock (you can also use water instead)

Seasonings like ground cloves, cinnamon &/or pumpkin spice 1 tsp Honey

Start by peeling your butternut squash. If you've never peeled one before, it's just like peeling a potato as the skin is not very tough and pretty easy to do.
After it's peeled, cut in half length wise and scoop out the seed and stringy bits using a spoon or fork.
You can always used the seeds as well by washing them free of the stringy bits and spicing them up in the oven. After the squash is clean, chop it up into 1" square bits.
Do the same steps above with the pears and the yam/sweet potato. When all are chopped, set aside and grab your onion and garlic. Get a large pot and melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Peel, and chop onion and garlic, turn up the temperature to high, and toss into pot sauté-ing (is that a word?) for about 3 minutes (until see through). Then you can add your squash, pears and yam/sweet potato. Stir them up and sauté for 3 more minutes.
Add 5 cups of either water/veg stock or chicken stock (I only had 2&1/2 cups of chicken stock on hand so I used that and the rest was 2&1/2 cups of water.

For some extra flavour, I added 1 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (adjust to your taste).

Let it cook down for 20 minutes of so, while occasionally giving it a stir. Wondering if it's ready? Stick a fork in the squash or yams and when soft, it's ready!

Final step, put everything into your food processor and purée. My food processor is not working (sniff) so I let my pot cool a bit before putting the ingredients into my glass blender.

Once it's puréed, it's ready to serve! Garnish with a drizzle of plain yogurt (or sour cream). The sourness offsets the sweet soup so nicely! If you've made too much, you can always freeze the rest and save it for a really cold winter day.


  1. Does the LCBO version include drinking a bottle of wine as you make this? Always helps me feel warmer

  2. Yes it does, David! In fact, my version includes drinking a bottle of wine as you make it as well :)

  3. Hi Joanne - I LOVE butternut squash soup! I linked to your blog, which btw I'm enjoying, via Twitter. My name is Joanne also, I'm Greek and I live in Toronto :) How's that for a coincidence? LOL! Anyway, I too have a blog if you want to learn more about me.