Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe from Alinea

Butternut Squash Soup Alinea Recipe

So you pick up a new cookbook and inhale that addictive new book smell. While eagerly perusing photographs and ingredient lists, you may be thinking, “I can make that,” or, “Time to pay Chinatown a visit.”

And then you somehow convince yourself that owning the Alinea cookbook is a good idea, fully intending to actually cook from it. How hard can it possibly be?

The package arrives and the familiar scent creeps up your nostrils as you flip the opening pages. You chuckle as you see “How to use this book” in the table of contents, and against your better judgment, skip to the recipes anyway.

Silence. The techniques require surgical precision. The equipment needed won’t be on sale at Sur la Table. You suddenly find yourself Googling improbable search terms such as “food-safe syringe.” Most of the ingredients are not available at Whole Foods. All of the ingredients are measured in weights, some as accurate to one-half of a gram. You can’t make anything even if everything is delineated in excruciating detail.

Until page 225, that is. Granted, this butternut squash soup is merely one component in a dish of 9 sub-recipes. In case you were wondering, the other elements are duck, curry, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, limes, and bananas. I don’t know how that works either but hopefully I’ll find out soon enough. If only I had some citric acid and soy lecithin.

recipe adapted from Grant Achatz’s Alinea
Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by We Are Never Full

Butternut Squash Soup

makes approximately 1115 grams of soup

Butternut Squash Soup Alinea Recipe - Halved

1 butternut squash
60g (4 tablespoons) butter
300g (1 1/4 cups) heavy cream
200g (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) water
40g (3 tablespoons) sugar
15g (1 1/2 tablespoons) kosher salt


  • a weighing scale
  • a blender
  • a fine-mesh strainer


Preheat the oven to 350ºF/177ºC.

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the pulp and the seeds. Divide the butter into two 30-gram pieces and place in the butternut squash cavity.

Butternut Squash Soup Alinea Recipe - Buttered
Buttered butternut squash. Music to my ears.

Roast for about 1 hour, or until tender.

Butternut Squash Soup Alinea Recipe - Roasted
Good enough to eat as is, but since there’s cream involved in the next step…

Scoop out 500 grams of butternut squash flesh (about 2 1/2 to 3 cups) and place in a saucepan. Add the heavy cream, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer while stirring.

Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain using a fine-mesh strainer or chinois.

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54 Responses to “Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe from Alinea”

  1. Carm says:

    Wow. Is that top pic how it turned out? How perfect… And looks lighter then the baked cream and cheese whole pumpkin of yesterday! :)

  2. Rosa says:

    Delicious and colorful!



  3. Tom Aarons says:

    For one perfect bowl of soup, maybe it was worth it! :)

  4. snookydoodle says:

    nice recipe. I like butternut squash soups.

  5. Y says:

    Damn, you got the book already!? I’m still waiting for mine to arrive :) That first picture is just gorgeous.

  6. Lien says:

    Don’t you just love that when you open a new book. Sniffing it and going over the smooth untouched pages… I love it. Good to now there are more doing that! Love your soup.. sounds like a very challenging and posh book to me. The little video om amazon was a very fast train showing hardly anything but flashes of mysterious dishes.

  7. kat says:

    yum, that looks like a nice simple soup though the rest of the cookbook sounds a little crazy

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m hoping that book will be next to my birthday cake or under the Christmas tree this year! Love that ‘new book smell’. Are there any recipes in there involving cauliflower? When we went last month, the cauliflower course was one of our favorites.

  9. Erik says:

    I like coriander with my squash, and a bit of green apple as well. I noticed there wasn’t anything in the way of spices in this recipe. Do you add anything else to it yourself?

  10. Marvin says:

    Sheesh, recipes like that make me glad I have a kitchen scale! I’ve attempted a butternut squash soup in the past and it turned out too sweet for my tastes, I’ll definitely give this one a try.

  11. Adam says:

    Can that squash look any happier when with all that butter in it’s stomach… I think not :)

  12. Sandie says:

    This squash is a thing of pure beauty. I just mentioned on Grace’s blog (A Southern Grace), how these recipes (hers was for muffins) are making me want to run right out to the farmers’ market and buy up all the butternut squash. Divine…absolutely divine!

  13. grace says:

    i’m so glad you posted this–i have an overabundance of butternut squash and the soup looks like perfection itself. nicely done. :)

  14. maggie says:

    Another great fall recipe! I love it :) Butternut squash is my favorite.

  15. rainbowbrown says:

    Whoa. Alinea, huh? Even that books website is intimidating. Have fun, I’ll have to try and force my library to order it…fat chance though. :)

  16. Sandy S says:

    How beautiful! I can’t wait to try this . . . will have to roast extras just to eat! Thanks for a lovely post!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Jude! I had no idea of your love for all things Alinea. I went there last November (going to finally blog about it in a month)! AND had that soup! It was incredible and yes there was banana in it!

  18. Madam Chow says:

    Jude, I felt exactly the same way when I got the book last week! I was almost afraid to look at it too much, until I told myself I didn’t have to make ALL the components!

    Citric acid – get some vitamin C capsules (not tablets) and use that instead.

    Soy lecithin – you can get granules at a health food store or vitamin store.

    They have also created a website (you have to sign up) that works in tandem with the book:

  19. Carm – Yup! It was really smooth and creamy. Still rich, but not as much as the whole pumpkin.

    Y – Just got.. a bunch of white powders, too. Time to figure out what to do with it.

    Lien – The Alinea book smell is intoxicating. The book is heavy on esoteric ingredients and ewuipment so that’s the biggest challenge

    Rachel – I don’t see any cauliflower recipes in Alinea. Maybe it was too new to include in the book.

    Erik – Not yet. When I try the complete recipe with the other sub-recipes I’m sure it’ll be much better.

    Marvin – I should convert this to volume measurements or something

    Tommi – It could happen. Along with the Fat Duck cookbook, maybe?

    Elizabeth – Looking forward to your post about Alinea!

    Chow – Thanks for the tips! Mosaic is a great website and has some good sample recipes.

  20. robin // caviar and codfish says:

    Oh my, I’m wild about that butter in the crevice idea!! I feel like, as a squash lover, my life has just become more complete. ;)

  21. Olga says:

    Love the simplicity of it and the contrast of colors. Btw, the question you left on my blog about beets: cannot remember the name of them, but you might be right. of course, you can choose any kinds of beets you like.

  22. Weekend Herb Blogging Wrap-Up | We Are Never Full says:

    [...] Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté convinces us to go get a new cookbook just to breath in that heavenly “new book smell”. She was inspired to make the very seasonal Butternut Squash Soup. [...]

  23. Kalyn says:

    I love butternut squash and currently I’m a little obsessed with it. The soup sounds heavenly.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Jude!! OMG! I made the soup just now and it is to die for!! My dad is going to love it for his birthday dinner tomorrow. :-D

  25. Caitlin says:

    Whoa, how did I miss this? I have a butternut squash, and it could very easily meet an end quite soon now that I’ve seen this recipe. Alinea scares me though…

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    Made this tonight. WAY too much salt unfortunately. I would half the salt (maybe it’s a typo and should have read TEASPOON rather than TABLESPOON. Other than that, this is fabulous (texture is whipped creaminess and the house smells wonderful).

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