A Perfect Autumn Soup

This fantastic recipe from famed chef Susan Spungen makes the best butternut squash soup I’ve experienced. Thick in consistency and full of flavor and texture, it is a perfect balance on the palate and makes an ideal accompaniment to a cool fall evening as you watch leaves drift from the tree tops across a grey sky. Not only that but it looks gorgeous in the bowl! You really can’t ask more of a soup.

Autumn Squash Soup (Serves 4-6)


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots (peeled and sliced) (about 1 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery (sliced) (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 large leek (washed and sliced) (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs) (peeled, seeded and cut into chunks or a 20 oz. package of peeled squash)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk



  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes, until the onion and garlic start to soften. Add the carrots, celery, leek, rosemary and more salt and pepper to taste and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften.
  2. Add the squash and stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially covered so that the liquid collected inside the lid is retained in the pot. Cook 30 to 40 minutes or until the squash is soft. To test, press a piece of squash against the side of the pot. It should easily dissolve. Let soup cool for a while in the pot, uncovered.
  3. While the soup is cooling, make the toasted pepitas. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil into a small 8″ skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they sizzle and pop and start to brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the seeds onto paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Pour the oil into a small bowl, stir in the paprika, and set aside.
  4. Once the soup has cooled slightly, transfer half the contents of the pot to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour it into a clean pot, then puree the remaining mixture and add it to the pot. When ready to serve, reheat the soup and add heavy cream or milk as needed to thin it to the desired consistency. (Stock or water works too.) Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a sprinkle of pepitas and a drizzle of paprika oil.

Special Note: Feature Image for this blog post courtesy of Lebensmittelfotos at Pixabay.