Spicy Squash Soup (or any Winter Squash like Carnival, Butternut, Kabocha, Red Kuri)

by Nov 3, 2017


Collecting colorful winter squash and cooking up a batch of soup without having to go to the store first is one of my Fall pleasures. Here’s a basic recipe to get you going. Any winter squash will do—carnival, kabocha, sweet pumpkin, red kuri, kabocha, hubbard, butternut, or a combination—just aim for about 2 pounds.


Be sure to taste your chicken broth as you can ruin all your hard work with a bad brand.  When I use a box, I go for Imagine brand over Pacific. Of course, homemade or frozen stock is the best, but it isn’t always convenient. Last resort, just use water and a couple cubes of Rapunzel or Edward & Sons veggie bouillon.


Spicy Squash Soup

Recipe adapted from the Open Hand Celebration Cookbook.


  • 3 Carnival squash (or one large butternut or a couple kabocha squash) about 2 pounds total
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Garnish ideas:

  • toasted pine nuts or pepitas, sour cream or crème fraîche, fried sage leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash squash, cut off thin slice of stem end, flip cut-side down for a stable base, then cut squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place squash, flesh-side down in glass or ceramic baking dish (8x11" or so). Pour in water to 1" depth, cover dish with foil and bake until soft—about 45 minutes–1 hour for most varieties. Check at 30 minutes for kabocha, it cooks faster than most. 

  2. Heat butter in large soup pot or dutch oven. Add onions and jalapeño and cook, covered on low heat for 10–15 minutes until onions are soft, but not browned.

  3. Scoop flesh from cooked squash halves and add to the onions. (Be careful not to scoop any of the tough skin. If you accidentally do, remove it and discard.) Add chicken broth, cumin and salt and simmer gently for 30 minutes then remove pot from heat.

  4. Purée the soup using a blender (hand-held immersion type or regular—if you use a regular blender, be careful and do it in batches so you don't blow the top!) Garnish as you like and enjoy!

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • When I have something else cooking in the oven, like a chicken or potatoes, I often throw in a squash and get it cooked a day or two ahead of when I want to make soup.  This piggy-backing meal prep makes soup making really easy!   
  • If the soup is too thick, just thin with a little water.


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