Butternut Squash Bisque

Need a hearty soup to round out your Thanksgiving menu? Make a big pot of this liquid gold.

There’s nothing more Thanksgiving-y than pumpkin pie. But my butternut squash bisque is really close, and you don’t have to wait for dessert to eat it.

I don’t remember how this recipe came to me. I love to cook and bounce around the kitchen trying different things. I was making some kind of butternut squash casserole dish, and thought to myself: “what if I made this into a purée?” Then I continued tinkering until it tasted like Thanksgiving. I finally wrote down the recipe and tested it on my family. It was a hit!

If you need something to round out your Thanksgiving menu, run to the store and pick up a few ingredients, break out the blender, and spend a little time putting this hearty soup together. I hope your family will like it as much as mine.


  • 1 medium butternut squash - you’ll need to peel, seed, and cut into 1/2” cubes (6 cups) (see below on how to prepare the butternut squash)

  • 3 medium yellow squash (4 if they are small) - seeded and cut into 1/2” cubes (3 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups coarse chopped celery

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp celery salt

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk, or substitute 1 cup whole milkl and 1/2 cup heavy cream

Spice mix:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp ground clove

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • pinch of allspice

  • pinch red pepper (optional)


Peel and seed butternut squash: cut off and discard top and bottom stems; cut in half where the bulb and cylinder meet; cut skin with a sharp knife deep enough to see orange flesh all around; cut pieces in half lengthwise; use a grapefruit spoon to scoop and discard all the seeds and pulp.

Peel and seed yellow squash: cut off and discard top and bottom stems; cut lengthwise in half; use grapefruit spoon to scoop out seeds.

Cut all squash into 1/2” cubes and set aside in a bowl.

Heat a 6-quart pot to medium and add butter until melted and foaming.

Add celery and celery salt, turn down heat to low, cook 5 minutes covered until tender.

Add squash and spice mix, turn up heat to medium.

Cook, covered, until squash mixture is completely soft (even a bit mushy), about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, use a blender to reduce in batches to a creamy consistency (about like baby food). Be careful not to overfill your blender, and let the mixture cool a bit if it’s too hot to handle.

Return mixture to pot, on low heat.

Add buttermilk, milk (or milk and cream mixture), stir.

Heat through and serve immediately.

This dish still tastes good reheated after a day or so. The flavors really develop.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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