butternut squash soup with brown butter and fresh mint



This dish was inspired by one of my favorite lunch spots in the Ferry Building – Il Cane Rosso.  I was intrigued by the mix of flavors – a hearty butternut squash soup, drizzled with a delicate brown butter and finished with a refreshing sprinkling of fresh mint.  The following weekend, I came home and roasted a butternut squash, and pureed it with onions, carrots, celery, chicken stock, and a touch of curry powder for warmth and depth of flavor.  It was lovely on its own, but the brown butter drizzled on top made it extraordinary.  And the brown butter couldn’t be easier to make – you simply melt butter over medium heat until the solids turn brown and it gives off a lovely, nutty fragrance.  It elevated the soup to another level, and now I cannot stop thinking of the myriad ways of using it to amplify other dishes – over pastas, white fish, and in waffles and desserts in place of regular butter {I am thinking brown butter madeleines}.  The possibilities are endless.

Recipe continued after the jump…




Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course

  • 3 pounds butternut squash {I used 1 large butternut squash}
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 small or 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper {freshly cracked}
  • Brown butter {see recipe below}
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint, chiffonaded

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise and remove seeds {I used a large spoon to scrape them out}.  Place on a baking tray lined with foil, cut side up.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.  Flip squash halves over, so they are cut side down, and place baking tray in oven.  Roast for about 40 minutes, or until squash is cooked through.  Set aside and allow squash to cool.

In a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion and kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add curry powder, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once squash is cool enough to touch, use a large spoon and scoop flesh of squash into pot with the simmering soup and discard squash skin.  Stir to combine.

If using a blender, blend soup in blender in batches, adding up to 2 cups of chicken stock as necessary to achieve desired texture.  Return soup to pot.

If using a hand-held immersion blender, add 2 cups of chicken stock, and then blend to achieve desired texture.

Reheat soup to desired temperature.  Spoon brown butter over soup, and sprinkle with mint.

Brown Butter

1/4 c. unsalted butter {1/2 stick}

Put butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.  The butter will go through various phases – first it melts, then starts to sizzle, and then some butter solids will start to turn brown and it will give off a nutty fragrance.  Once butter solids begin to brown, remove from heat.






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19 Responses to butternut squash soup with brown butter and fresh mint

  1. Love this soup!! It’s brilliant, brown butter and mint are the perfect garnish!! I love your recipes, you take a simple soup and add complexity with your garnish. I love to do exactly that too and I will be making this soup. A fantastic recipe!

  2. Darya says:

    Lovely recipe and pictures, as always!

  3. oh how my sister would love this soup..will have to make it for her next time she comes over…i love the brown butter and mint topping, i’ve never had that combo and cant wait to try it out…lovely post..sarah

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Sarah! Yes, they actually all work together suprisingly well – the hearty soup with the nutty brown butter and the fresh mint – an unlikely flavor combination! xo

  4. Amy Anfuso says:

    Lindsay…your blog is gorgeous and this soup looks amazing!! Definitely going on the recipe short list. So happy to see you’re sharing your cooking expertise and doing well!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your kind words, and for checking out the blog! It’s been such a wonderful outlet for me to engage in all things food related! Hope you are doing well – I heard that you recently had a baby! How exciting! Very happy for you. 🙂 If you are ever up in SF, let me know!

  5. Squash can be a hard sell to me – I ate too much of it when I was vegetarian. However, I am sold with the addition of the brown butter – and of course your photos make it all the more appealing, well done!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Tracey! Haha – I suppose squash would be a regular staple for vegetarians! Butternut squash soup does seem to be rather ubiquitous and not that exciting, but somehow the brown butter and mint make it feel really new and fresh, at least for me! xo

  6. You are constantly surprising me. I wouldn’t have thought of putting brown butter drizzle over this soup. It looks amazing and those colors are just gorgeous. I love your endless possibilities of brown butter ideas, especially the madeleine one, and look forward to reading your posts on what you come up with. Thanks Lindsay –you’re always an inspiration. 🙂 Xox, Anne

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Anne – such wonderfully encouraging words. I love seeing what you come up with as well – it’s so lovely to have discovered your blogs and others like it that are a constant source of inspiration and happiness! xo

  7. Roasting your butternut squash first is what really makes this soup rich and wonderful. I’m reading your post from my iPhone and your photos look great imagine how nice they would be in front on a large computer screen

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you BAM. Yes, about half the butternut squash recipes out there just cube the squash and cook it in a pan with the other vegetables, but I love the flavor that roasting imparts {I may have a roasting addiction}. 🙂

  8. petit4chocolatier says:

    Magnificent! I love everything about your soup. Very delicious!

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your link on my reblog page?

  9. Very nice post – both recipe and pics! I actually get asked to make this type of soup more than any other.

    I’ll try the brown butter. I made a similar thing at Christmas and drizzled over hot coconut oil infused with curry spices (I very gently fried curry powder in the oil basically!) – was also very nice!

  10. Pingback: bacon brown butter pancakes « { fleur de sel }

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