butternut squash slices on a wooden board

Butternut squash, its color, smell and taste, are quintessentially fall.

I realized that years ago when I once made this soup in March, using a butternut squash that had lasted all winter. Wrong season! Just cutting it up I felt out of place.

So, to savor my favorite season, I always make this butternut squash soup come October.

Even though I love it, I used to push off making this soup as I find peeling it cumbersome. However, the soup is so worth it that I’ve accepted the nuisance of getting out my potato peeler to rid it off its tough skin. Thanks to that skin, butternut squash lasts forever on my kitchen window sill.

For this recipe you need (in addition to the ingredients below):
  • A good hour to prepare and roast the squash before you assemble the soup.
  • A potato masher and baking sheet, plus the usual soup-making items

Chunky Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash

a bit of cooking spray or olive oil for the baking sheet

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

2 medium-sized Granny Smith apples (or another type of tart apple), peeled and cut into small chunks

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

2-3 teaspoons curry powder

1 larger garlic clove, minced

5 cups chicken-flavored broth

salt to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Peel squash, then slice off the top and bottom. Be careful, the squash gets slippery once the skin is gone. (I badly hurt my thumb last year when the potato peeler slipped…) Cut squash into 1-inch-thick disks, then cut those disks into about 1-inch-thick chunks. I just cut around the seeds on those disks that have them.

butternut squash cut into cubes

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and thinly coat the foil with either cooking spray or olive oil. Arrange the squash chunks on the sheet in a single layer. Roast at 400F for about 45 minutes or until a fork prick tells you they’re tender. Once done, take squash out of the oven and set aside.

In the meantime (or later), melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add apples, onion, celery and bay leaf. Sauté 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and curry powder. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add squash and broth, stir well.

Reduce heat to medium low and let the soup simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaf.

Mash the mixture with a potato masher until thick and chunky. Taste test, add salt and more curry if needed.

Cover soup. Reduce heat to low, stir now and then, until you want to serve.

Top each serving with a bit of shredded cheddar if so desired.

Serves 4-5.

Like most soups, this one tastes better the longer the flavors have time to mingle. Making it a day ahead is a great idea. And leftover soup is divine the next day!

Inspired by a recipe from the October 2002 issue of Cooking Light magazine.