Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry

By • October 21, 2011 • 50 Comments



Author Notes: I've been making the same basic butternut squash soup for years, adding twists and tweaks as I see fit, and it never fails to satisfy me when a chill enters the air. It's smooth and creamy, the way I think squash soup should be, and it's the perfect thing to whip up over the weekend to have in your fridge all week long. This version relies on sherry for depth and a little intrigue -- if you don't have sherry on hand, you can skip it, or just substitute with brandy (Madeira would be nice) if you have some lying around.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 3-to-4-pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry, plus more to finish
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for serving
  1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened—this should take about 5 minutes (if leek starts to brown, add a tablespoon or so of water).
  2. Add the squash, nutmeg, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the sherry and cook for a couple of minutes to reduce, then add enough chicken stock just to cover the squash (if you have added all of the stock and still need more liquid, add some water).
  4. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  5. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup with the milk in several batches, adding more liquid if necessary.
  6. Return to the pot and heat until just simmering. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in another splash of sherry and the cream just before serving, adding a drizzle of cream to garnish each bowl if you like.
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Comments (50) Questions (8)

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5 months ago Hark

I used white pepper, and it was waaaaay overpowering. Next time I will be following the directions properly.

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6 months ago Tifani

OMG, this is sooo good! Only change that I made was to roast the squash first and put it into the pot. Because it was already tender, I only simmered for about 10 minutes with the other ingredients before pouring it all into the blender. So delicious!

Sharon_at_the_beach

6 months ago mauigirlcooks

Mmmmm, this soup looks thick and delicious. Butternut Squash soup is also delicious with blue cheese toasts!

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8 months ago Yessica

This was fabulous!! served it as the first course to our family dinner. No left overs for the next day...good and bad. I will make this again for sure.

Merrill

8 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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8 months ago Martha Hill

Made this tonight. I roasted the squash for 45 min, then scooped it into the pot. I'm so glad I did. It gave it a sweetness that is wonderful. Only had a little bit of onion. No leeks. Used Almond milk. No cream. Lots of pepper. Had to use my smoothly maker to wiz it. It turned out so good, I can't believe it. Thanks.

Merrill

8 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sounds like you made some great tweaks!

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8 months ago Tyfusion

Just made a double batch for thanksgiving, turned out great. Used two full leeks and added a little plus to the nutmeg and pepper. I can taste the extra black pepper so this can prob be reduced to 1.75 if making a double, otherwise fantastic. Used a submersible blender in a large pot which I can tell would be easier than transferring to a processor. Watched this vid for chopping the squash: http://m.youtube.com/watch.... Used this video for cleaning and chopping the leeks (sweet lady): http://m.youtube.com/watch.... Used vegetable stock in lieu of chicken. It's not too salty or fatty, but I'm tasting it the night before without the added heavy cream. I am now planning to add some grilled pancetta to the surface when serving with the cream for a little extra body. Excellent and easy recipe!

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8 months ago neshama369

Hi and thanks for the gorgeous recipe. I found canned butternut squash at Whole Foods and would love to use it. It comes in 15 oz cans. How much would I need for your recipe?

Stringio

9 months ago Alexandra Ann

Hi Merrill

Can you use whole foods frozen butternut squash instead of fresh squash? If so, about how many cups of frozen squash would be the equivalent of a 3-4lb fresh squash?

Thanks!

Dscn1202

9 months ago sherry edelstein

would like to make with out dairy- any reason why not to?

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9 months ago nesticlose

I used coconut milk instead of regular milk, and did not add the cream. It was delicious.

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9 months ago Emily

Can this be frozen and reheated later?

Stringio

9 months ago Mark Beaudry

Sure can, but I find myself sneeking it as a midnight snack, so it may not make it to the freezer :)

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9 months ago Rhonda35

Yes, I've frozen it before - reheats perfectly.

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9 months ago nesticlose

The soup was delicious. I will definitely make it again; may try adding the curry powder and cumin. That sounds yummy.

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11 months ago Sauertea

Calvados sounds like a good idea

Stringio

11 months ago Mark Beaudry

All I used Calvados instead of sherry, turned out great

Stringio

11 months ago Mark Beaudry

I added about 2 tablespoons of madras curry powder and about 2tbsp of cumin and aliilte more salt and pepper. This proved to be the magic combo for us. It was fantastic!

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about 1 year ago mrs_ritchie15

Who says you can only have butternut soup in the fall?! I didn't have cooking sherry on hand, but I added brown sugar and a touch of hazelnut extract. Delish. Try using a stick blender if you have one, that way you can blend the soup right in the pot without the hassle of transferring.

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over 1 year ago Sauertea

Made it today? Amazing recipe!!! Definitely a do over!!

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over 1 year ago Nushin

Thanks for your input -- when I reheated it I added a little sherry, nutmeg and some brown sugar as you suggested and everyone LOVED it!! I served it with a dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkled a few pomegranate seeds on top - YUM and looked beautiful. Thanks for your help!

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad it worked out!

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over 1 year ago biennourri

I make this soup frequently and I've used the TJ's pre-cut squash for this soup before and it seemed fine. Maybe the squash was old?

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over 1 year ago Nushin

HELP! I made this soup in the past and it was sweet and AWESOME. I doubled the recipe to serve for Thanksgiving and just tasted it and it is bland, not rich, not sweet. Hard to explain. The only thing I did differently was used pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joe's -- do you think this impacted the flavor? What should I add to make it sweeter? More nutmeg? More sherry? Should I add cinnamon?? it looks BEAUTIFUL but I need to spice it up and am not sure what what ingredient. Thanks so much.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So sorry to hear this! I'm afraid it was probably the squash -- maybe it wasn't fully ripe when it was cut, or it may have been sitting around for a while. Without tasting the soup, it's hard to recommend a specific fix, but you could try adding a little more sherry and maybe some brown sugar for sweetness/richness, and definitely a bit more nutmeg. Did you season it well with salt? Salt can do wonders to help coax out the other flavors.

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over 1 year ago Nushin

I made this last night and LOVED it! I used skim milk and skipped the heavy cream. I am thinking about serving this for Thanksgiving also -- do you think I can make this a few days ahead and keep refrigerated?

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad it worked out! You can definitely make it 2-3 days ahead if you keep it in the fridge.