Butternut squash soup flavor was lacking.

I used the same recipe as usual that's always great, but this time the flavor wasn't deep enough. I was able to adjust it. It seems as though the squash just wasn't as flavorful as usual. Does this happen often??

Felice Croul


Happygoin January 25, 2022
I don’t know where you live but this past growing season was especially bad in New England. It was rain, rain and more rain. The tomatoes I always grow were flavorless.

I always opt for buttercup over butternut squash because it tends to be drier and more flavorful, but this past season even that was flavorless.

So as 702551 says, among other things, the growing season can affect so much. And it’s so disappointing to cook something and have it turn out meh.

Luckily squash soup is easy to zizz up with added flavors.
702551 January 25, 2022
I've had bland butternut squash before. Heck, I've had bland examples of every fruit and vegetable I've ever eaten.

They're living organisms and sometimes you get something that isn't so flavorful. They don't come off a manufacturing line, they come from plants.

Sometimes it's just that individual piece, sometimes it's the plant, sometimes it's the soil/location, sometimes it's the time of year or that particular growing season.

Sometimes you get something that is less than stellar. And this doesn't pertain to just plants or edible items.

I buy almost all of my produce at my town's farmers market and I can definitely quality differences between various farmers, various times of year (I don't buy strawberries in January), and various seasons (some years stone fruits are great, other years they are rather bland).

I also have a vegetable garden so I see this myself in the things I grow. Some years a particular crop is really great. Some times I get varying degrees of quality (e.g., some tomato plants are better than others).

If you continue to have problems with butternut squash, find a different source (a different farm) or consider a different variety and hope for better butternuts next year.

Note that the notion of varying quality is well recognized in wine, that is the notion of vintages. Some years are simply better than others most due to Mother Nature. You can't call her up and ask for perfect conditions every year.

Best of luck.
HalfPint January 24, 2022
Personally, I find butternut squash flavor to be bland and rather boring. I'm always disappointed. My preference is for kabocha and red kuri squash, which both have sweetness and chestnut like texture.

To your question: yes, it can happen. As @AntoniaJames recommends, add more seasoning (definitely more salt). For more sweetness without adding sugar or sweetener, try adding some caramelized onions or shallots.
Felice C. January 25, 2022
Thanks, so it's not my imagination. I did add much more spice etc... to enhance the flavor but it took some work and imagination!
AntoniaJames January 24, 2022
This has happened to me. I know how disappointing it can be.

Yes, some squash are less flavorful than others. I don't know why. i just know that it happens.

The best you can do in that situation is to make sure the soup is well seasoned - plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper, if you like it -- and that you've dosed it with a good bit of acid, to brighten it up. I don't know what kind of soup it was, but some fancy croutons (or even not-so-fancy ones) can make any soup more interesting. By fancy, i mean ones made with great bread, torn not cut, doused generously with olive oil and well salted, tossed with an extra something (smoked paprika, good quality garlic salt, etc.) before baking.

Once when my squash soup turned out particularly lackluster, I bloomed some Indian spices in hot oil and stirred them into the soup with coconut milk and tamarind paste. That perked it up nicely. ;o)
Felice C. January 25, 2022
Ironically I added a little apple cider as I usually do and that was too much acid as the original flavor and sweetness was lacking. I was able to adjust but it's not the same as when the squash starts out w/more flavor. Thanks for your answer.
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