A creamy autumn soup packed with squash, leeks, and potatoes. It’s hearty and comforting, topped with crispy thyme croutons.
By Marcie Bidou
I have another Butternut Squash Soup recipe that’s spiced up with curry powder, cayenne pepper, and fresh ginger (find the recipe here), but this one is so different. This soup is very un-spicy, if you will, and it’s got a mild flavor and velvety smooth texture that’s so comforting on a chilly day. If you like potato leek soup, you’ve got to try this. It’s potato leek soup with a butter-nutty twist!
The leeks are what make this soup special for me. They have such a nice, mild onion flavor.
Leeks are dirty little guys, and need to be cleaned well. I learned how to clean them by watching an episode of Rachael Ray way back when, by thinly slicing the white and light green parts of the leek only, and discarding the dark green part.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced, cleaned, halved, and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 5 cups cubed, peeled and seeded butternut squash, about 1 medium (cut into 1" chunks)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, and cubed (about 1½ cups in 1" chunks)
- bouquet garni (1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig flat leaf parsley, 6 peppercorns, & 1 bay leaf), optional*
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock (I used 4 cups vegetable stock and 2 cups water)*
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup heavy cream, optional*
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups cubed baguette or French bread, cut into ½" cubes*
- salt, to taste
- Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the leek and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne pepper and sauté 30 seconds. Add the squash and potato, and sauté 1 minute more. Add the bouquet garni and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash and potato are very tender. Remove from heat and discard the bouquet garni.
- Ladle half of the soup into a blender. Remove the center piece of the lid in order for the hot air to escape and cover partially with a dish towel. Puree until smooth and pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the other half of the soup. When finished, add the salt, pepper, and cream, if using. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, thyme, and salt until well coated. Bake on the middle rack of the oven in a single layer, tossing halfway through, for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Top the soup with croutons and extra cream for garnish, if desired, and enjoy!
*Chicken stock or water may be substituted for the vegetable stock.
*Depending on how rich you like your soup, you can add the cream, half and half, or simply omit it and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream, or Greek yogurt on a bowl by bowl basis. Soup should not be frozen once the cream is added.
*I used a 3½ ounce mini baguette for my croutons, which was the perfect size.
Use white pepper if you'd rather not see flecks of black pepper in your beautiful, golden hued soup!