This is a simple soup perfect for the fall season, which should launch in Southern California any day now.

My friend Seth is an excellent guitarist, a fast driver to the hoop and a vegetarian from Iowa, so I understand. He asked me for more vegetarian options and I hope to oblige. Here’s one to join the list I’ve started.

IMG_1268You can use pumpkin or other orange squash for butternut. BTW, a little editing of my mint patch has brought it back enthusiastically. I expect it to deliver all winter.


Butternut Squash Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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The soup:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks
  • 4 cups reduce sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Cinch red cayenne pepper

The pesto:

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or other nuts


Saute onion and ginger in olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat until golden, about five minutes. Add garlic and coriander until softened, about one minute, then add the squash, broth, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash is very tender, from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size you had cut them.

In the meantime, add your garlic clove, salt, mint leaves and some of the olive oil into a food processor and create a coarse paste. Add remaining oil and pine nuts and grind until they are just lightly crushed.

Place the pesto into a small bowl, then use the processor to puree the squash in batches that fit. Use 30 seconds at least to ensure the soup is smooth, transferring it to a large bowl so you can puree the rest. When all the squash is blended but the soup seems thick, add a little water. Serve the soup topped with a bit of pesto and fresh mint leaves.