Make Ahead

Aunt Sharyn's Butternut Squash & Leek Soup

October 16, 2015
Photo by Rebecca Firkser | Spices and Spatulas
Author Notes

Though she is a nurse professionally, my Aunt Sharyn is a very talented home cook. Thanksgiving is when she typically breaks out her famous butternut squash soup, though she's whipped it out for many a Rosh Hashanah dinner in the past as well. It's always a crowd favorite! I've adapted it for vegan/vegetarian diet concerns, but listed ingredients needed when serving people who still eat butter and bacon. Happy Autumn! —Rebecca Firkser

  • Serves ~8
  • 4 1/2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise (seeds and pulp discarded)
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
  • 4 large leeks, white and tender green parts coarsely chopped
  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • lots of black pepper
  • lots of kosher salt
  • chopped chives, for serving
  • finishing olive oil, drizzled
  • crisp bacon, crumbled; for serving (obviously omit if following vegan/vegetarian recipe)
  • sour cream, dolloped; for serving (omit for vegan recipe)
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash cut-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh from the skin.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed stockpot, melt the coconut oil (or butter) over over low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft and browned, 35-40 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.
  3. Stir in the stock and squash. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a standing blender. Season well with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with chives, olive oil, and optional sour cream and bacon.

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Rebecca Firkser is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, among them Food52, TASTE, Edible Manhattan, Extra Crispy, The Strategist, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl.