Spicy Winter Squash Soup

by Nov 3, 2017

Collecting colorful winter squash and cooking up a batch of soup without having to first go to the store is one of my fall pleasures. Here’s a basic recipe to get you going. Any winter squash will do, just aim for about 2 pounds.


Carnival squash


Be sure to taste your chicken broth, as you can ruin all your hard work with a bad brand. Homemade stock is always best, and you can make it from as little as a rotisserie chicken carcass and a carrot. As a last resort, use water and a couple Rapunzel or Edward & Sons vegetable bouillon cubes.

Original post 2017, edited 2024; Soup photo by Samantha Lord published in Edible Bozeman, Fall 2021

Spicy Winter Squash Soup

Recipe adapted from the Open Hand Celebration Cookbook

Servings 6


  • 2 pounds Winter squash
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño flesh minced, seeds discarded
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Garnish ideas: toasted pine nuts or pepitas (or maple pepitas!), sour cream or crème fraîche, fried sage leaves, freshly grated nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

    Wash squash, slice off the stem end, cut in half, and scoop out and discard seeds. Place squash, flesh-side down, in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Add water to a 1-inch depth, cover dish tightly with foil, and bake until soft , about 45 minutes to 1 hour for most varieties (check early for Kabocha; it cooks faster than most).

  2. Heat butter in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add diced onion and peppers and cook, covered on low heat, for 10–15 minutes, until onions are soft but not browned. Scoop flesh from cooked squash halves and add to the onions. Add broth, cumin, and salt and simmer gently for 30 minutes, then remove pot from heat and let cool slightly.

  3. Purée the soup using a blender. (If you use a regular blender rather than an immersion blender, be careful and do it in batches so you don’t blow the top!) Garnish with Maple Pepitas, crème fraîche, black pepper, and nutmeg.

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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