Fall Flavors

Spice up dinner with a recipe for crab and butternut squash soup

Photos by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Butternut Squash and Crab Soup

Difficulty level: 2/4
On the clock: 45 minutes
Servings: 8


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced bacon

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 leek, white part only, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped 

1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

1 cup dry white wine

8 cups chicken stock, plus additional for adjusting consistency

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into approximately 1-inch cubes (if purchasing squash that is already cut, use at least 1½ pounds)

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon fennel seed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs parsley

2 sprigs thyme

4 ounces heavy cream

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste (a pinch or less)

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through to remove shell fragments

Chopped chives for garnish

Also needed: cheesecloth and butcher’s twine



1. Place an 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, bacon and garlic. Allow the garlic to turn just golden brown, then add the onion, leek, carrot and ginger. Stir once a minute for about 10 minutes. 

2. Add the wine and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Add the stock, then the butternut squash, apple and next seven ingredients (through brown sugar). 

4. Make a bouquet garni by wrapping the bay leaves, parsley and thyme in cheesecloth and tying up with butcher’s twine. Add to pot. 

5. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. 

6. Purée the soup with an immersion blender in the pot, or in several small batches in a separate blender. Pass through a fine strainer. Adjust the consistency to your preference, thinning with additional chicken stock or thickening by reducing over medium heat. At this stage, the soup may be cooled and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for another time.

7. To serve, bring the soup to a simmer. Add heavy cream and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste. (Note: once cayenne is added to a soup, it takes a while to show itself.)

8. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside. 

9. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange soup bowls on a sheet tray. Place 6 to 8 lumps of crabmeat in each bowl. Place in oven for about two minutes. Ladle the soup into the bowls. Spoon a little of the sour cream/water mixture over the surface of the soup. Garnish with chives. 

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