almost lidia's butternut squash soup

This dish has been on bob's mind for some time, but every recipe he happened to see seemed to have some sweetener, like apples, or maple syrup, something that just did not sit right with his food sensibilities, amateur though they may be. So finally he looked up advanced Google searching to search the web by excluding those extra words, and when he did, lidia came to the rescue at the top of the hit list. Looking over the ingredients it seemed like it might be what we were looking for, except for the orange juice and orange peel which bob had given up last century when he had some prolonged digestion problems. A lemon substitution seemed like an easy compromise. And the celery triggered bob's onion-leek-celery soup base memories, so a leek was injected into the first stage of this experiment. A Trader Joe sized leek.

This turned out to be quite bob. Now you might be wondering, who cares? And who wants to read another book report like food story from the adventures of the dr bob cooking team in the kitchen? bob does. It satisfies some perverted sense of  creativity/oversharing urges/whatever that motivates this now four decades long project having fun with food. Humor him, okay? Anyone that is actually paying attention, that is.


3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 leek added by bob, chopped
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-in chunks (ready to use product makes this easy! we used 2 lbs)
 2 sprigs fresh sage
2 fresh bay leaves
8 c water (we used 6 for our 2 lbs of squash)
zest and juice of 2 larger orange (we used a lemon)
2 t kosher salt plus more to taste
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (omitted by bob)
1/3 c thinly sliced scallion, for garnish
a dolop of plain yogurt on each serving is a nice touch


  1.  Heat the oil in a big nonstick soup pot and when sizzling, saute first the onion, then toss in the celery and leek, and soften them all up together.
  2. Add the squash, sage and bay leaves and stir about for a few minutes until the safe has infused something into the mix.
  3. Add the water, lemon stuff, salt and red pepper and simmer with a lid ajar for about 30 minutes until the squash is tender.
  4. Remove the bay leaves. Ani could not find one, but a stem ended up in bob's mouth.
  5. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender.
  6. Bring to a simmer and then adjust for salt.
  7. Serve with desired garnish.


  1. Lidia's butternut squash soup: zuppa di zucca!
  2. Bacon is not on bob's healthy list.
  3. Celery is in our favorite cream soup base: cream of chestnut soup.
  4. Illustrations available.
butternutsquashsoup.htm: 13-oct-2022 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]