Food for Thought with Suzanne Dunaway

Butternut squash soup

I was asked to make a soup for our Jardin Denat in Collioure get-together, enough for a dozen visitors, but I made more, knowing that a hot soup in a chilly garden would warm the cockles.  The squash grown in this amazing garden were like no butternuts I had ever tasted, rich and golden with an amazing nutty flavor and lovely silky texture when whizzed into the soup, but I know that the ones now in our open markets are very tasty.

This soup is great for holiday gatherings and starts off any meal with a comforting warmth during the holidays  We are thankful for butternut squash and for our beautiful organic permaculture garden started by expert gardener, Maryline Buckingham, in Collioure. Every day in that garden is a Thanksgiving…Merci, butternut beauties!

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The trick is to stick the squash with a knife a couple of times (that’s not easily done either) and microwave the very hard squash for about 5-10 minutes. The skin becomes soft and the butternut can easily be cut in two, de-seeded and roasted in a moderate oven until soft, about 30 minutes, depending on the size.

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And then mama does this…


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped coarse
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • All of the soft oven-roasted squash
  • Chicken or vegetable broth, enough to cover
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime
  • Grate of fresh ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • A spoon of butter


In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add the squash, the broth to cover and simmer until the marriage is consummated, about 30 minutes.

Add the lime, ginger, salt and pepper and stir in the butter. Taste for seasoning. The soup should be balanced but enough lime to create interest.

Whiz everything up with a hand mixer until very smooth … 

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and serve hot, sprinkling a little chopped basil or cilantro or pinch of ground espelette over each bowl.

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Top tip

I was told by a Bulgarian friend that butternut squash is very good for your eyesight.

Meet the chef

P-O Life reader, Suzanne Dunaway, has cooked since she was 5 years old, when she made cinnamon pinwheels from her mother’s pastry dough.

She LOVES to cook. Some might say she LIVES to cook. The smells, the tastes, the textures…

She is a firm believer in simplicity and creates her recipes in the ethos of ‘anyone can cook’.

After years of experience in her own kitchen, cooking schools and private classes all over the world, in this weekly blog, Suzanne shares with us her PO-inspired creations.

With many strings to her bow, she is also an artist and columnist, with two published cookbooks.

Get a copy of her ‘No Need to Knead: Handmade Artisan Breads in 90 Minutes’ here  

Or her 5 star rated book ‘Rome, at Home: The Spirit of La Cucina Romana in Your Own Kitchen’ here

All content and recipes are copyright of Suzanne Dunaway.


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