Recipe courtesy of Rick Laughlin

Butternut Squash Soup with Pickled Cranberry and Vanilla Oil

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes cooling times)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Butternut Squash Soup:

3 large butternut squash

3 cups milk 

2 cups heavy cream 

1 cup apple juice 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

Kosher salt 

Vanilla Oil:

6 vanilla beans

1 cup grapeseed oil 

Pickled Cranberries:

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup cranberry juice 

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar 


  1. For the butternut squash soup: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half and take out the seeds. Place on a sheet pan skin-side up and roast until soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Combine the milk, cream, juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and some salt in a large pot over high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  4. Scoop the pulp out of the squash and add it to the liquid. Stir well, bring back to a simmer and then turn off. In small batches, add the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender and blend fully.
  5. For the vanilla oil: Split the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a paring knife and reserve.
  6. Place the vanilla pods and beans in a small saucepan with the oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Strain before serving.
  7. For the pickled cranberries: Place the cranberries in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cranberry juice and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the liquid over the cranberries and cool to room temperature.
  8. Garnish each serving of soup with 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla oil and a 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cranberries.