Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup from Café Gratitude’s cookbook, “Served With Love,” is the perfect start to your holiday (or everyday) dinner.


Are you looking to spice up your holiday meal next week? If yes, this chipotle butternut squash soup from Café Gratitude’s cookbook, “Served With Love,” would be the perfect start to your dinner. It’s sweet and creamy and velvety with a good kick of smoky chipotle at the end. Plus, all dressed up for Christmas with fresh rosemary stems and pomegranate arils will get lots of oohs and aahs from your guests. (I love getting lots of oohs and aahs from my guests.)

As I shared in my last article, Lisa Bonbright, CEO of Café Gratitude, gifted me this glorious cookbook at the Pizza and Pint Pop-Up at Café Gratitude. It just might be my best holiday gift. What a wonderful collection of plant-based as well as gluten-free recipes, all served at their restaurants. Trust me, it wasn’t easy picking a recipe, as I wanted to make them all. I found this soup to be one of the more user-friendly options to share in this kind of online format. Many of the recipes cross-reference other recipes and it would have gotten long and involved. I’m definitely going to make most if not all of them, as this book is a comprehensive course in vegan cooking. If you would like to take a deeper look as well, the book is available at the restaurant on North Larchmont or online.


The recipe in the Café Gratitude’s cookbook, “Served With Love.”


I have typed up the recipe exactly as it appears in the cookbook, though I do have a few notes, below:

  • Chipotle powder has a strong kick. I reduced the 1½ tsp to 1 tsp and it was plenty spicy for me. Also, it is different than chili powder, so don’t use that as a substitute. I found a tin at Ralphs.
  • I soaked the cashews in water overnight to soften, and then rinsed before adding to the blender to make the orange cashew cream.
  • The salt is in the cashew cream, which is added at the end before serving. Don’t add any salt until you taste the soup with the added cashew cream. I ended up adding another ½ tsp., but not until I tasted the finished soup.
  • I topped the soup with homemade croutons instead of homemade ricotta, as suggested. I wanted a bit of a crunch and a sturdy nest for the rosemary and pomegranate arils. I have included that recipe at the end.


Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

For the Soup:
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T chopped garlic
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ tsp. chipotle powder
2 T white wine
6 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp. Himalayan sea salt, plus more to taste

For the garnish:

Croutons, preferably homemade (recipe follows)
Rosemary stems cut to one inch in length
Several tablespoons of pomegranate arils

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until softened, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium high and add the onions, celery, carrots, pepper, rosemary and chipotle powder. Sauté until softened and their juices have cooked off, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot. When the wine has evaporated, add the squash, turning over a few times to coat it in the vegetable mixture. Add 6 cups of water, increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Keep the soup at an active simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft and the broth is reduced by about a third.

4. Meanwhile in a blender, combine the cashews, orange juice, and salt and blend until completely smooth. Add broth from the soup to loosen if necessary.

5. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is completely smooth. Or, allow the soup to cool for 15 minutes, and then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process in batches, working carefully with the hot liquid.

6. Stir in the orange-cashew cream, taste, and adjust for salt.

7. For an even smoother soup with a velvety sheen, pass the pureed soup through a fine-mesh strainer before serving.

8. My addition to the recipe: top with a few croutons. Place 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and a few pomegranate arils to make it look like mistletoe.


The ingredients for Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup can be found at the Larchmont Farmers Market. Carrots and squash are from Frecker Farms.


Homemade Rosemary Garlic Croutons:

1/3 large sourdough baguette, cut into I inch cubes, 2 ½ cups
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. grated garlic
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Himalayan sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, toss together the bread, EVOO, garlic and rosemary. Spread evenly on a sheet pan. Bake 7-9 minutes tossing a few times as it bakes. Remove from oven and immediately top all over with a few sprinkles of sea salt. Toss again and move to a serving bowl to cool.


I cut about one-third of a a sourdough baguette from Jyan Isaac Bread at the Larchmont Farmers market into one inch cubes to make about 2 1/2 cups of croutons.


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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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