BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP – a Thanksgiving tradition

Hi there,

I dearly love my daughter-in-law, Hillary. She has many, many, fine qualities and has been a wonderful addition to our family. I say this with all sincerity and not just because when she joined our family she took on the job of preparing and hosting Thanksgiving Dinner.

In all seriousness, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The food is completely in my wheelhouse and the part about not exchanging a present pushes the holiday to the top of my favorite’s list.

When Hillary prepares Thanksgiving Dinner she starts with the most delicious butternut squash soup that she has adapted from the Moosewood Kitchen. Dom doesn’t just like this soup, he adores it. He eats so much of it that he rarely makes it to the dessert course. He also makes sure that he takes home a generous container of the soup for the weekend.

If you have time to add this to your Thanksgiving menu, it will really be worth the effort. It has a slightly spicy taste that sets it apart from the usual sweet Butternut Squash soup recipe.


“Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence.” Erma Bombeck


  • 2 medium-sized acorn or butternut squash (about 4 pounds)
  • A little oil for the baking tray.
  • 3 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste


  • Melt the butter or heat the oil in a skillet, and add the onion, ginger, salt, and spices. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is very soft (about 8 minutes). Add a few tablespoons of water, if necessary to prevent the spices from sticking.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Split the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place face-down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake until very soft (30 to 40 minutes). Cool, then scoop out the insides.
  • Add the sauté to the squash mixture, scraping the skillet well to salvage all the little tidbits of flavor. Add cayenne and lemon juice to taste. Measure out 3 cups of squash, place it in a food processor or blender with 1 1/2 cups of the orange juice, and purée until smooth. (You may need to do this in batches.) Transfer to a soup pot, and stir in the remaining orange juice.
  • Serve topped with pepitas and a dollop of yogurt if desired.

Thank you Hillary for making this a Laganella family tradition.

50 responses to “BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP – a Thanksgiving tradition”

  1. What a lovely story of family tradition. And the recipe is the cherry on top. Todd and I love butternut squash soup. I will definitely try this. Thank you Bern.❤️

  2. I love the ingredient list of this soup. I question the cinnamon, only because I’m one who doesn’t feel that brown sugar and cinnamon are required when preparing a squash or sweet potato dish… I have used o.j. Before and also apple cider and they’re both a wonderful addition to a soup.

  3. It sounds absolutely wonderful, but 18 hours! Your daughter-in-law is truly a treasure! Not in my wildest dreams will I try to accomplish this. But I would travel to your house to sample it! Thanks for posting.

  4. This soup sounds amazing and I’m going to try it this week for sure! My own squash soup recipe is boring me; I’ve always made it with apples and cream and lately it seems quite sweet. The orange juice and spices Hillary has combined are an inspired twist for sure! It warms the heart to read of your affection for your daughter-in-law, and I like the Erma quote, too! 😉

  5. pumpkin soup is a big thing here in winter, and all the cafes serve it then. If I have to eat it (sorry not a fan) i prefer an asian version with fresh coriander and chilli and those sorts of flavours. oops sorry sounds a bit negative. I am sure Hillary’s version is a tasty one, and i like the addition of ginger to it.

  6. Yum, this looks delicious, Bernadette. The rain pouring down outside of my window, plus the snow falling down my computer screen makes me in the mood to enjoy this soup right now. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. This looks so delicious, Bernadette. I can’t wait to try it. I love the addition of ginger.

    It sounds like you are also a wonderful MIL (that’s what I call my Mother-in-Law). Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  8. Even-though it is not Thanksgiving, I just discovered your blog and this recipe which looks amazing. I make a similar recipe, but I am going to try yours. Beautiful presentation too.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

%d bloggers like this: