butternut squash and pumpkin soup

Originally Published: Nov 20, 2013

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin soup: Holiday of Excess Edition


My local farmer gave me a couple of pumpkins so I asked the Chef how he cooks with it. The soup recipe that he gave me has been used twice and after enough practice, I feel comfortable sharing. Before we get to that part, let's discuss Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Eve has been one of the biggest drinking nights for quite some time. Look around at the increased DUI checkpoints and police articles discussing 'no refusal' checkpoints. For whatever reason, it is socially acceptable for your inner bro to come out. So turn your visor backwards, order a jaegerbomb and trade fist pumps with your friends...because that is the only way to have fun right?

For those that would rather stay in with family or invite friends over, I have a few ideas to share. In case you missed it, here is a great blog discussing an essential digestif

Plenty of drink ideas on this blog, here is a simple drink from Canon's Gentleman's Companion.

  • Two ounces of Bourbon (I'm using Weller here)
  • 1/4 ounce of Benedictine
  • Dash of Angostura bitters (Try Fee Brothers Barrel aged bitters)

Stir with ice then strain into a small glass. 


'The Chef' is more than a mythical figment of my imagination. While becoming a regular at 'The Chef's Corner' in Naperville, we became good friends. The friendship started on our love for the game of basketball spilling over to ethnic culinary arts.  We stay in touch by having him pass on the recipes that I became accustomed to eating while visiting his restaurant.

Butternut Squash Soup

From Chef:

  • Butternut Squash or Pumpkin or both
  • Medium Onion
  • Two ribs of celery (I use four)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Half stick of Butter (I'm using coconut spread)
  • Chicken stock (around a quart)
  • Salt
  • White Pepper (didn't have that so I used black)
  • Cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)

 "In soup pot (toss in the butter) saute onions and celery with thyme don't brown add squash cover with stock, bring to boil season with salt and pepper add cinnamon cook for 15 or20 min.transfer to blender puree in batches but very carefully" 

"stock to cover veg or 1quart I don't like runny soup"

Serve with a little sour cream if you have it around. Use salt and pepper to taste, it depends how salty your chicken stock is. 

This has ruined me a bit, I understand that not all pumpkins are edible but now when I see my farmer I always grab pumpkin to use in this soup or to cut in half and roast with olive oil, salt and pepper.  


Vedad Vrselj calls Travnik home despite being forced out during the Bosnian War. His former restaurant in Naperville remains one of the most respected and highly reviewed eateries in the area winning awards for best burger and infuriated competition with better ingredients for less money (His yelp reviews). His cult following continues with catering to the Chicagoland area and stays in touch with his Facebook page.