Buttermilk Squash Soup Recipe

A nice way to use up a good amount of summer squash. This soup is a soft, pastel shade of yellow, and aside from a hint of tang from the buttermilk, is quite mild in flavor. I finish it with a cumin brown butter drizzle that punches right through the creaminess, and plenty of chopped chives.

Buttermilk Squash Soup

It has been one of those afternoons...I finished writing up this recipe, then realized I made a similar soup this time last year. Yikes. I'm officially starting to repeat myself. My apologies. Although, it was bound to happen at some point, I suppose. The soups - they're not exactly the same. I'm noticing a few significant differences as I look a little more closely. So I hope you don't mind if I still share this version.

This is what to expect. Compared to the original, this recipe makes a larger pot of soup - which should be helpful to those of you neck-deep in summer squash right now. It is a soft, pastel shade of yellow, and aside from a hint of tang from the buttermilk, is quite mild in flavor. Now, here's where the magic comes in. I finish the soup with a cumin brown butter drizzle that punches right through the creaminess. I can't get enough of the brown butter on its own. And just a drop of it swirling across the surface of each spoonful of soup makes all the difference here - so, don't be tempted to skip it.

The soup - I enjoyed it hot, but it is good thinned out a bit and served cold too. It's an efficient way to put a dent in any squash supply, and leftovers freeze quite well. If you have a large enough pot and a whole lot of squash to use up - double the recipe. And if cumin isn't your thing, or if you prefer rosemary or toasted almonds, have a look at this one. I'll try to avoid another repeat next year ;) -h

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Buttermilk Squash Soup Recipe

I used yellow summer squash here, but you can certainly substitute any green summer squash/zucchini. I also do a version with peas - also good with the cumin butter. And while we're on the topic, it's nice to have the cumin brown butter on hand, so if you think it sounds like something you might like make a double or triple batch of it.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55g unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves

1 pound / 16 oz / 450 g potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 1/2 pounds / 40 oz / 1+kg yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices

4 cups / 950 ml good tasting vegetable stock
1 cup / 240 ml buttermilk
1 bunch of chives, chopped

In a skillet, over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until they are fragrant. Just a minute or two. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the seeds into a fine powder. Alternately, you can use an electric spice grinder. Set aside. In the same skillet, melt the butter and cook until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma. Remove from heat, stir the cumin into the butter along with a generous couple pinches of salt, then set aside in a warm place. You want the butter to stay liquid until you're ready to use it.

To make the soup, heat the butter in your largest pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and a bit of salt. Saute for a few minutes, or until the onions start to get translucent. Stir in the potatoes and squash and cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until the squash starts to soften up. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the stock (most of it) - the stock should just barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, roughly another 25 minutes. Remove the soup from heat, puree completely with a hand blender, then stir in the buttermilk. If you need to thin the soup out with a bit more stock, you can do so. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve each bowl topped with plenty of the cumin butter, and a sprinkling of chives.

Serves 10.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 40 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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uhhh...Heidi, did you look in my fridge/pantry this morning knowing that I'm going out of town tomorrow? These are the exact ingredients I need to make use of before I depart....wiiieeeerd.


I am slightly obsessed with brown butter, so that's always a good start for me. I hated summer squash when I was a kid - I have vibrant memories of being force-fed zucchini from my grandmother's garden all summer long. In recent years, however, it has grown on me, mainly because my husband is a big fan. I've been looking for ways to eat it beyond ratatouille and sautéed with spices, so this sounds like an interesting option. I don't have any in my garden, but one of my coworkers does ... I'll have to ask her to send extras my way. Thanks!


Beautiful soup, and beautiful presentation. I love cold buttermilk-based soups, and the combination of zucchini and cumin is wonderful. I only wish buttermilk came in smaller than one-quart containers! HS: Whenever I have leftover buttermilk I throw together a quick soda bread. Something like this one. It's a good way to use up the last bits of various flours as well...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

I love the browned butter idea. My man has the weirdest convinction that butter is EVIL made food and he does not want me to use it. Of course if the quantities are reasonable like in this case there is no huge difference with other fats, so I always hope I can convince him not to look crossed when I butter my bread or add a tiny bit somewhere. And this recipe might be a very good starting point, as it sounds quite healthy while staying delicious.


I wonder how this would taste with zucchini instead of yellow squash. My garden is giving me 3-4 pounds of it per day! I'm overwhelmed! Thanks for the squash recipe!


perfect, heidi - i've been starring at my yelllow summer squash wondering what next to do with it. xo.


Surely repetition and elaboration are what food is all about – great to try new things, of course, but I wouldn't be without having favourites, old standbys and "remember when we ate this..." dishes. That's more like love than just cooking.


Great looking soup!

Simply Life

This sounds perfect! Delicious.

Jessica @ How Sweet

Brown butter makes everything better! It is winter here and I think a nice seasonal version of this soup using cauliflower or parsnip would be nice.....


Hi Heidi! Looks like a great recipe! You suggest making extra brown butter - how do you store it? Do you let it solidify and then re-warm when you want to use it?


Repeats are a good thing- for us newbies who haven't read through your entire archive selection! And I love that you pointed out the original recipe... lets us see the variation and offers more choices for us to make it ourselves. BTW- Off to Sonoma! I'll see (not really, but you know what I mean:) in a couple of weeks when I return!

Torrie @ a place to share...

Superb receipies. thanks.

Mohan Rane

I'm on vacation, but I have all of these ingredients waiting for me at home! By the way, I just wrote about your pancake recipe Heidi - you may want to take a look! :)

A Teenage Gourmet

sounds DELICIOUS with any squash for any season. do you think you could add in some lemon or would that split the buttermilk?


The brown butter drizzle was the perfect touch to this already amazing looking soup! A must try!

Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

It really seems like the flavors of the toasted and crushed cumin is carried through the potatoes and buttermilk. What a great combination!

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

Browned butter anything is worth a try. Thanks for the recipe. :)

Lindsay Jewell

I don't mind the repeat at all, this looks delicious!


Hey, why not repeat an idea if it looks this delicious! You had me at browned butter, Heidi.

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

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