Savory Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve tried very hard to expose my kids to a wide variety of foods – even the ones that I don’t personally like. As they’ve gotten older, I’ve tried branching out with my own diet as well. I will admit that a part of this “branch out” journey has been due to the fact that I attempt to follow a fairly WW (formerly Weight Watchers) friendly diet these days.
WW allows you to eat as much as you want (within reason, of course) of certain fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. I’m always looking for ways to make those ‘leaner’ foods a larger part of my diet….because I am also all about a larger portion!  I’d tried some other recipes with winter squash but just wasn’t too thrilled with them. Winter squashes tend to have a slightly sweeter flavor, which isn’t usually what I’m looking for as a meal. So, when you can’t find what you want, you make it, right? Hence this Savory Butternut Squash Soup that is more on the spicy side and totally hits the spot.  ~Tracy
1 large butternut squash
½ T. chili powder
½ T. paprika
½ t. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ c. finely chopped yellow or white onion
½ c. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 ½ c. fat free chicken broth
¼ c. parmesan cheese
feta cheese for topping, if desired
Preheat oven to 400.
Split the butternut squash lengthwise and place open side down on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment or sprayed.
Roast the squash for 45 – 60 minutes until fork tender. Baking time will vary by oven and depends upon the size of the squash. Allow your squash to cool to room temperature.
Remove the seeds and stringy area and discard. Scoop out the squash and puree until smooth. If you have an immersion blender they work great for this step.  I use this one.
In a large sauce pan or soup pot, mix the pureed squash with all other ingredients except the feta cheese.
Saute on low for 30 min. Be careful to allow the soup mixture to boil as this could lead to scorching on the bottom.
Serve your soup topped with 2 T. crumbled feta cheese.
This soup makes approximately five 1-cup servings, but this may vary depending upon the size of your squash. The soup is one WW points per serving.
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Butternut Cake with Bourbon Sauce

The first time our Mom made this cake and told me that it had butternut squash in it, I must admit I was extremely skeptical.  But, it’s cake, and not even what I thought was a strange ingredient was going to keep me away (notice that I did not think the bourbon was a strange ingredient).  I make this cake every Fall now. It seems to be the perfect start to weather that lends itself to sitting under blankets with a sweet treat and a cup of coffee.  And don’t worry, the alcohol in the bourbon cooks out…because you don’t want to skimp on this sauce!  ~Tracy


Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 ½ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. + 2 T. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. orange juice

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. bourbon
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Split butternut squash in half lengthwise and lay face down on a parchment lined or sprayed baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 45-60 minutes until fork tender (time will vary with the size of squash).
  4. Set the squash aside and allow to cool completely.
  5. Gently scoop out the seeds and stringy seed area and discard.
  6. Scoop out the squash and puree to a smooth consistency.
  7. Set pureed squash aside 1 ⅓ cup.
  8. In large bowl combine ½ cup + 2 T. of softened butter and 1 ½ c. brown sugar.  Mix until creamed together.
  9. Add eggs one at a time until combined.
  10. Add orange juice and squash puree mixing just until all are combined.
  11. Gradually add in flour mixture and mix on medium speed until all is incorporated into squash mixture.
  12. Pour into 9” bundt pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
  13. Bake at 400 for approximately 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Cool for 20 minutes and turn out of bundt pan.

Instructions for sauce:

  1. Combine 4 T. softened butter, ½ c. brown sugar, and ¼ c. bourbon in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add heavy cream and powdered sugar while whisking.
  4. Return to heat and boil again, whisking continually.
  5. Reduce heat to a low simmer and slowly whisk while cooking approximately 8 more minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly.
  6. Cool to room temperature before pouring over cake.  You can poke a few holes in the top of the cake using toothpicks to help the sauce absorb into the cake.
  7. Reserve a small amount of sauce to pour over each slice.