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Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry

October 21, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry

- Merrill

One of the things I most look forward to about the fall is soup. My father can -- and does -- eat a bowl of hot soup for lunch 350 days out of the year. As I discovered on my honeymoon last year, in East Africa, it's typical to eat hot soup as a starter for nearly every meal, even if you're sitting outside in 95-degree weather. Me, I like to reserve my hot soup for cold weather.

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Perhaps it's because some of my favorite soups revolve around quintessentially autumnal ingredients: root vegetables, dried beans, and especially winter squash. 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.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry

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
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry, plus more to finish
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heay cream, plus more for serving

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom


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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


Yessica February 6, 2013
I just picked up my very first butternut squash at the market this week. My 4yr old girl looked at me and said "mommy what is this? looks like a big pear" I am excited to make this soup and add one more great recipe to my favs! BTW I too can eat soup everyday when its cold.
butternut S. May 8, 2012
Preparing food such like this is really cool. squash is very nutritious kind of vegetable.

sarabclever October 25, 2011
I love the idea of adding sherry. Not that butternut soup isn't great on its own, but a little zing is always nice!
rbcowgirl October 25, 2011
Still trying to find the icon to save this recipe to my Saved Recipes. Can anyone tell me where to find it or how to do it?
Fairmount_market October 21, 2011
I love thick squash soups when the weather gets chilly. And I agree that sherry can really brightens them up. I just uploaded a recipe I made for a pumpkin soup with rio zape beans and, of course a splash of sherry.
Merrill S. October 22, 2011
aargersi October 21, 2011
I LOVE squash soup - just finished off a tub with ginger curry and coconut milk - this will be my next iteration!
Merrill S. October 21, 2011
I do love butternut squash with coconut milk...
jenniebgood October 21, 2011
Hi Merrill - long time lurker here - this looks delicious and I can't wait to give it a try!
Merrill S. October 21, 2011
Thanks so much. Let me know how it turns out, and welcome to the comments section!
Lizthechef October 21, 2011
Whoops, how do I save this recipe?!
drbabs October 21, 2011
Look to the left of the photo. It says, "jump to the recipe." click on that and you can find the recipe and save it.
Lizthechef October 21, 2011
Thanks, dr b!!
drbabs October 21, 2011
My pleasure, Liz!
Lizthechef October 21, 2011
Saving this for certain - I make most of the soup we eat in our family because I like to be able to control the salt. This looks wonderful!
Merrill S. October 21, 2011
Thanks, Liz. Assuming from your comment you use salt sparingly -- I'll admit I'm guilty of the opposite!
drbabs October 21, 2011
Oh, Merrill, i'm so happy that you posted this! I have a butternut squash in my refrigerator that was just screaming soup, and I was thinking that I want to find a new recipe--thanks so much!
Merrill S. October 21, 2011
You're so welcome! Hope you like it.