Cooking Light
Active time
20 Mins
Total time
2 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 10 (about 1 1/3 cups per serving) 

The butternut flavor in this soup is intensified by making a squash stock from the peels and cuttings. Make sure to simmer the squash until very tender—the softer it gets, the silkier the puree.

How to Make It

1. Peel and seed squash, reserving peels, trimmings, and seeds. Cube the peeled and seeded squash. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add squash scraps; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add 7 cups water, allspice, peppercorns, thyme, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Strain mixture into a large bowl, and discard the solids. Set squash stock aside.

2. Wipe pan clean with paper towels, and heat over medium. Add 3 tablespoons oil and onion; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cubed squash; cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved stock and salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until squash is very tender.

3. Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Stir in vinegar and red pepper. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Top evenly with pomegranate and cilantro.

Butternut Squash Prep Tip
Start by using a vegetable peeler to strip the peel from the top of the butternut squash to the bottom. Use a large chef’s knife to slice off the top and bottom ends. Cut squash in half crosswise; cut each half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape seeds and pulp from bottom halves. Cut into pieces as directed in recipes.

Also appeared in: Cooking Light, September, 2021