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

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Made this soup for guests last evening. They loved it and I thought it was stellar. We had leftovers for lunch today. I was skeptical of the browned cumin butter, but hey, now! I served it with flatbread for dipping. It was perfect…

Susan @ The Spice Garden

Love this recipe! I halved it, used only zucchini, and had no problems. Like others, I added a little extra buttermilk because I love the tang it brings. Also, stirred the remaining brown butter into the leftovers for the next day. It doesn’t look as pretty but the flavors are still great. Thanks Heidi for giving me something new to do with my zucchini!


My husband loves this recipe. I make it with the sweet butternut squash. There is nothing better.


I thought buttermilk was yogurt diluted? is there more to it really?

poornima krishnan

For those asking about buttermilk substitutes — I didn’t have any in the fridge and pureed just now with the intention of fridging overnight and adding the buttermilk when I can pick some up tomorrow. In the interim, lacking buttermilk, the taste is still absolutely lovely and could stand on its own as is, if undoubtedly of a different character from what Heidi’s complete recipe intends.


Heidi, the soup is delicious!! But, I´m all by myself, will it freeze?


I am glad you are repeating your self as I have only recently been a follower of yours : ) I have made many of your recipes and friends just rave over them!!! Keep up the good work, I appreciatate you …..


I love to make this with fresh squash and freeze it for the winter. It makes me feel like it is still summer.


this is delicious recipe, tried it with a subsitution of sweet potaotes in pace of regular potatoes and loved it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.


There was no question what I would make tonight for my grandparents, who have a love of buttermilk and a plethora of summer squash–it’s great how this recipe uses so much. I ended up adding at least a half cup more of the buttermilk and really liked the tang. And the cumin brown butter was not to be missed. It was a big hit.


Cumin brown butter! Be still my heart!

The Rowdy Chowgirl

Has anyone ever tried this with hemp milk, rice milk or almond milk?

leslie Freimuth

Heck yes. I always have so much summer squash but so little direction. I will try this!

Johanna Inman

I made this soup shortly after receiving the recipe because I happened to have a large zucchini from our garden sitting on the kitchen counter. Also dug up some beautiful yellow potatoes for the soup. It was delicious, and the browned cumin butter adds a nice flavor. The next night we drizzled truffle oil over the soup, and this too was great!


Made this last night – it was fabulous. Thanks for the recipe 🙂


This is a rich and creamy soup. I tried your recipe and my whole house loved it. Thanks.


I’m adding this to the list of things to do with all the zucchini and summer squash we’re growing.


Must tell you, I purchased a dozen or so salts from The Meadow after seeing your “Weekend in Portland” post. So for this recipe, I omitted the brown butter/cumin (wait for it) and finished it instead with a topping of Cyprus Hardwood Finishing Salt. It enhanced the subtleness of the squash and potatoes. I also put in some chopped red peppers and a tomato, but I don’t know that it added much significance. The salt though…
Thank you for this beautiful recipe.


Just made this soup for our lunch. It is wonderful. So much flavor in the soup. It was the first time I made browned butter and it is so good with the soup. Thanks for the recipe.


I made this last night with unsweetened yogurt instead of buttermilk as my grocery store was all out. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks!!

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

Beautiful. I was intrigued by the drizzle. I have come to realise that a swirl of something on top of soup elevates it to special in an instant. My favourite so far is pumpkin soup with a zesty spice swirl–more a winter one, perhaps. Thanks for the ideas–repeats are fine by me as well.


do not apologize. I did not know this first soup and it is a pleasure to read this recipe.
I like buttermilk, and in my country there is tradition of eating (cold) soups with buttermilk (or sour milk, or kefir) base. We eat those soups in the summer, to cool down. The most common ingredients (except for sour milk) are young beats with their stalks and leaves, radishes, cucumbers, garlic and some local fresh herbs. The idea of using butternut squash is great, but not possible to prepare in summer time – because we do not have the season for it in the summer. I will have to wait until autumn…


Just read both recipes and I’m thinking why not serve both chilled in same bowl for a beautiful and tasty combo?

Traveling Culinary Artist

I have bought the squash & the buttermilk for this one, but that is not the reason I am commenting again on the same post. My reason for commenting again? I was wondering if where you live the news reported on the loud slurping noises coming from Tennessee; I am sure you all could hear us as we devoured the noodles & tofu with the cilantro sauce at our table. It was great, & if we can have food like that when we go camping we just might get to see every camping spot from sea to shining sea. Thanks for the wonderful meal, Carolina

The Muse of The Day

This looks wonderful, I missed the first version. Just picked up some wonderful summer squash at the farmers market today. The brown butter sounds delish! I know what I am making tonight. Thanks!


It’s amazing how two things that sound like they wouldn’t go well together end up tasting excellent together. Buttermilk & Squash, seperately very good, but together….GREAT!
Excellent Recipe!

Ira Mann

I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

study abroad scholarship

I just finish making this soup and I am sitting down with my bowl now… love at first spoon full.
I see nothing wrong with posting variations on the same recipe: the variations could very well be something I would have never thought of.


I made this today. Did not have potatoes, used turnips from my CSA basket and it was wonderful. The brown butter is wonderful. Great recipe once again. Thanks Heidi


you had me at cumin brown butter.


I made this tonight and it was tasty!! did make a few changes to suit my tastes and didn’t make the cumin butter, but it was very, very delicious!!


Even though it’s summer, I never tire of soup. This sounds so tasty.


Hi Heidi,
This recipe looks fantastic. I wrote a few days ago about having trouble with no longer receiving your emails when there are new recipes posted. I’ve been checking the blog and now have missed 3 posts…when they used to come like clockwork. I miss them. I’ve re-entered my name a few times and even tried my work email with no luck. I checked the spam filter for both addresses- I’m experiencing withdrawal from 101 Cookbooks not being in my unread email. Any advice??


Why potatoes??? Why not just all squash–esp if they’re over-running your garden. I do lots of pureed veg as soup: broc w/Braggs & ginger, zuke w/fresh basil, cauliflower-carrot w/huge handful of cilantro.


I’ve been trying to convince people that summer squash soup is delicious since last summer! I’m glad you can get them to believe you! Apparently I forgot the cardinal rule of “add browned butter” 🙂


Oh my goodness, yum. You’ve gone and ruined my plans! I had fully intended to make a nice pasta dish with lots of sauteed squash and Pecorino cheese this evening, but now there’s definitely no chance of that! Squash soup with brown butter-cumin drizzle, here I come!!


Absolutely lovely!
I added extra buttermilk, because it’s such a nice flavor. I also love browned butter, but skipped it this time in favor of olive oil and basil, who’s intoxicating scent was calling me from the windowsill. Nice pairing of summer flavors, but will try the cumin version soon. Thanks!
I love soup!


Wow – perfect timing! I have a fridge full of summer squash and a vegetarian friend visiting from New York. As if that were not enough – I lurve buttermilk. Can’t wait to make this later.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Made the squash soup and it had a great flavor except for a bit of a bitter after taste after each mouthful. It was bitter before I put on cumin etc… so it might have been the squash. I added a little brown sugar to sweeten which did help some.
Any ideas? Also, suggestions on what to do now with all that buttermilk?

Paula Harris

I love and make Butternut Squash soup all winter..now I have something that I can replace it with in the summer!

Rocky Mountain Woman

what a nice recipe it is & in this rainey season my kids love this very much.


I had to forgo the brown butter (my hips just couldn’t say yes), but the soup is DELISH and totally used the squash I got in my box this week (and last).


You left me hanging on “cumin brown butter drizzle” … who in their right minds would not wipe the drop of saliva from the corner of their mouth and continue to read on. Great recipe. Carolina

The Muse of The Day

just made it. fantastic.


Oh my. I just finished making a pot of this and having a little bowl just to taste. I love it, I love it, I love it. I love the simplicity I love the flexability. The cumin butter is brilliant and I predict that my husband and I will eat all ten servings in short order. Thank you.

Michelle T.

This soup was so good- I made it last night. Heidi, you should really consider uploading some of your recipes to Yummly. It’s like Pandora for food! http://www.yummly.com


This looks delicious! I love the addition of buttermilk and the brown butter on top!


Repeats are good. Buttermilk and summer squash. I can’t wait to give this a try. I’m dreaming about how the cumin brown butter will smell wafting as I fan it up from the pan to my waiting nose.


If the weather cooled down a bit I would love to make this soup with summer squash and top it with a bit of squash blossoms!


My husband and kids will LOVE this! Can’t wait to try it.

The History Chef!

I love butternut squash soup, but have never thought to make one with summer squash and buttermilk. It looks awesome! And would be perfect chilled on a hot day like today 🙂


Heidi, I LOVE growing (and eating) various winter squash and pumpkins. This looks like a great soup. Try adding pureed roasted pears for a variation to this–delicious and de-lovely!
Some of my favorite varieties for flavor and growing: Galeux d’esyines, Sweat Meat, and Provence de Musquee.
HS: Hi Tom: I should have mentioned, I think I used sunbursts, I picked them over the other types because of their deep yellow skins. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for these others too. There was SO much squash at the market last night, I think this soup will be in rotation for a while.

tom @ tall clover farm

I haven’t yet had the inkling for soup , but that’s cause it’s been so hot here in chicago this week! i’m sure i’ll have a bunch of summer squash around here soon, so i’m sure either this or last year’s version will be a great way to use them!

heather @ chiknpastry

This looks delicious!
Might have a go at this at the weekend


This soup sounds amazing! And I’m a soup kinda gal, so I know I’ll be making this soon! My friend and I have a trip to the farmers market planned for Friday, so I’ll likely make it this weekend! Thanks for sharing the recipe!! 🙂


One can never have too many squash recipes in my opinion!


I’m absolutely in love with your recipes.. i never ever forget to read them and they really really pep me up! Cant wait to make this yummy soup… I’m already having the cravings….


So what would be the exact amount of fresh peas you would use to make this soup?


I forgot about brown butter! (I know, how does such a thing slip your mind?) It’s so soup weather in San Francisco. Will make this weekend.

Heather @ The Wisch List

Can’t wait to try this–my summer squash plants are gearing up to explode in the next week or so. Maybe even by this weekend.


I don’t get the unsalted butter? Why not use salted and add less salt?


This looks so good! I can’t wait to make it!


You have officially jumped the shark.

Frank Rizzo

I’ve never made soup with ywllow squash, but it sounds so wonderful. And so perfect for summer! Yum!


Only you could make me crave soup in summer!

Georgia Pellegrini

It is the dead of winter here and we are chipping ice off the cars in the morning so a soup is very welcome. Obviously we are currently short on summer squash, but have loads of pumpkin, and I particularly like the idea of the buttermilk – it should add a nice tang.
Thanks, Heidi!


Yum! I’m up for any creamy squash soup.


Anything yellow squash….bring it on!!. Made your Honey Balsamic bean salad and LOVED it. The crunch of the slivered almonds took it over the topl


Any recos on.a brand for “good tasting vegetable broth”? My intentions to make my own always fall short …


Beautiful soup! Love the idea of the cumin butter too. Looking forward to trying this one.

Nicole @cookingafterfive

Love the Buttermilk Squash Soup Redux! The fact that you make this dish repeatedly certainly bodes well for how good it must be! Thanks for the glimpse into how your creative cooking mind works and evolves from one year to the next!
I was searching your site for a cold soup to serve in the midst of this incredible heat wave just yesterday. I’ve never used buttermilk in a soup, but the cumin/buttermilk connection sounds irresistable.
Any chance you may be creating a tomato-based gazpacho soon? 🙂

Primordial Soup

Since I didn’t get last summer’s soup recipe I’m only too happy to have this one. I’m going to print out the other one too. I’m taking them straight to the kitchen and dig through the frig to see if I can make a pot right now. Thanks (And the Zucchini Bread too!)


Wow, this sounds heavenly! I can’t wait to try, and I just love brown butter in ANYTHING (Note to self: write about brown butter pistachio sandies soon). Thanks for the inspiration!


I’m always looking for more cold soup recipes. this sounds perfect!

Annmarie Kostyk

I just returned from the farmers market with lots of beautiful squash. I now know what to do with them! This looks wonderful with the brown butter swirl.


This looks yummy and I believe I missed the first version. So I appreciate a repeat. Thanks a bunch.


Any suggestions for non-dairy substitutes for the buttermilk? I am trying to significantly cut down on my dairy intake (though I won’t skip the brown butter, promise!).


I’ve got a real soup obsession lately, despite the heat wave New York is currently facing. This soup looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to trying it out!


I love this recipe, i love last years recipe. i have this theory that buttermilk makes things better and i’m currently addicted to squash, butternut, zucchini or yellow, name it, i’m probably eating it right now. I’m gonna make this one for dinner today!

Adriana from Baking Powders

Never tried squash in soups. The color of the soup is vibrant and inviting.


Zucchini, olive oil, mint, yoghurt.
HS: Couldn’t have said it better.


Love this recipe but does anyone have a good suggestion for skipping the buttermilk and subbing in something else?

The Skinny Blog

If you made a similar soup twice at a similar time of year, it just reinforces the fact that it’s a very season appropriate soup! So yay for that!

Satpreet Kahlon

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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