Curried Buttercup Squash and Apple Soup


This hearty New England soup includes a buttercup squash base, apples and maple syrup for sweetness, and curry and cayenne pepper for hints of spice.


  • 1 ½ cups sour cream

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, shelled

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan

  • 2 buttercup or small butternut squash, sliced in half lengthwise

  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped

  • 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped

  • ¼ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 4 Macoun apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped

  • cup brandy

  • ¼ cup honey

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. Cover; refrigerate.

  2. In another bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with 2 teaspoons salt. Spread evenly over baking pan. Toast in oven until seeds are golden and begin to pop, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. Place squash, cut side down, and 1/2 cup water in dish. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool 45 minutes. Remove seeds, peel, and set aside.

  4. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and spices; cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add apples and brandy; cook 10 minutes. Add squash and 12 cups water; simmer 1 hour. Let cool 30 minutes. Puree in food processor until smooth. Add honey, salt, and pepper to taste; pulse to combine.

  5. To serve, garnish with a dollop of maple cream, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

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