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(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Squash soup with wild mushrooms Add to ...

Mushrooms and squash have a real affinity and this soup proves it. I like to use oyster mushrooms, but chanterelles, which I found at the supermarket this week, provide the best flavour.

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  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Ready time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Servings: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash cut in half, about 2 pounds (1 kilogram)

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Pinch cayenne

5 cups chicken stock

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 ounces (60 grams) pancetta or regular bacon, about 2 slices

4 ounces (115 grams) chanterelles, torn into pieces

8 sage leaves, fried in a little oil until crispy


Preheat oven to 450 F. Oil a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place squash, cut-side down. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until squash is soft and caramelized at the edges. Scrape flesh out and reserve (you should have about 2 cups).

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to soup pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add thyme, sage, cayenne, chicken stock and squash.

Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Purée soup until smooth in food processor. Return to pot, stir in cream and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Reheat when needed.

Heat oil in skillet and fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble bacon. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon oil. Add mushrooms to skillet over medium high heat and sauté until browned and juice has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Serve soup garnished with bacon, mushrooms and fried sage leaves.

Suggested Wine Pairings

A strongly oaked, full-bodied chardonnay from the New World, such as California, Chile or Australia (they're almost always oaked), would work splendidly, matching the subtle sweetness of the soup. An even better choice would be a full-bodied white Burgundy (a.k.a. chardonnay), its subtle earthiness resonating with the soup's mushroom and bacon garnish. Another good option: dry or lightly sweet sherry, especially the style called amontillado. - Beppi Crosariol

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