Butternut Squash Soup

Leeks, parsley, thyme add lovely flavour notes to a classic vegetarian butternut squash soup. But the garnish of pomegranate reduction and roasted pumpkin seeds is what will make this dish truly memorable.

Makes 6-8 Servings


  • 1 butternut squash, about 4 lb.
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 6 cups very low-sodium vegetable stock
  • black pepper
  • tsp kosher salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs parsley
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch of chives
  • ½ cup Red Crown Pomegranate Reduction*
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds


For soup:

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Cut the neck off of squash and set aside. Cut base in half through root and scoop out seeds.
  • Place 1-2 sage sprigs in each half, drizzle lightly in olive oil, and put on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until very tender, 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
  • When squash is cool enough to handle, discard sage, and scoop out flesh. Set aside.
  • Peel neck of squash and cut into 1/2” pieces.
  • Cut the onion, shallot, and carrot into a 1/2” dice.
  • Smash garlic cloves and roughly chop.
  • Cut leek, keeping only very light-green and white parts. Cut in half vertically, then into half-moon slices about 1/2” wide. Soak leek pieces in a bowl of water for 5 minutes, then lift out and place in colander to drain.
  • Wrap parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a bundle of cheesecloth and tie with a string.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, shallot, carrot, garlic, and sweat for 5-8 minutes until translucent.
  • Add diced squash and cook 4-5 minutes. Add honey/maple syrup and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  • Add stock and herb bundle, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat until water is just simmering. Simmer for 15 minutes until squash pieces are tender.
  • Add roasted squash to pot and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove herb bundle. Add 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, and blend soup in batches (or with a stick blender) until smooth. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

For garnish:

  • Put pomegranate reduction in small pot over very low heat until it has reduced to a semi-thick sauce. Make sure reduction never comes to a boil – it can burn very easily. This will take several hours.
  • Once it starts to thicken, stir regularly. Remove from heat when just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Place seeds in single layer on unlined baking sheet, and roast for 3-6 minutes until toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Ladle soup into serving bowls. Add swirl of pomegranate reduction, a few pinches of toasted pumpkin seeds, and sprinkle of finely chopped chives.


Red Crown Pomegranate Reduction is available at select retailers. Check here to find one close to you.