Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup Recipe

A pureed summer squash soup with a buttermilk twist. I used a hint of red pepper, a bit of rosemary for depth, some potato for body, garlic, shallots - and aside from the buttermilk, nothing too far beyond the usual suspects.

Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup

This is a simple soup I made the other night with the summer squash left over from the gratin we talked about last week. Nothing fancy, just a pureed summer squash soup with a buttermilk twist. I used a hint of red pepper because, quite honestly, I often prefer it over black pepper. I used a bit of rosemary for depth, some potato for body, garlic, shallots - and aside from the buttermilk, nothing too far beyond the usual suspects. And I have to say, while I heartily enjoyed the soup as a main component of our dinner, I enjoyed the leftovers even more the following day.

Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup Recipe

There was plenty of soup leftover, so when Wayne and I decided to throw our cameras in the car and head toward Pt. Reyes for an impromptu photo excursion, I decided to pack a picnic lunch for us. The leftover soup was poured into a large Mason jar, and it ended up being the ideal companion for a day-old chunk of walnut bread that we brought along as well. We found ourselves a shady picnic table in the heart of the little town of Tomales, and the nice ladies at the Tomales Bakery donated a couple of spoons to our cause.

I have to say, it was a near perfect California lunch - wildflowers in bloom everywhere, clear skies, good food, breezes coming off the ocean a few miles west, a vintage cornflower blue Karmann Ghia parked in the grass on the corner, neighbors chatting as they picked up their mail from the post office. And I think it must be little moments like these that keep me from straying too far from the place I've called home (nearly) my entire life.

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Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup Recipe

I happened to have a bit of buttermilk to use up here, and I like the creamy tang it brings to the soup, but feel free to add a splash of creme, or half & half, or a swirl of creme fraiche instead if that's what you have. If you like a deeper green soup (and some bonus nutrition), add a handful of chopped spinach toward the very end - a minute or so before pureeing.

a generous splash of olive oil or (3T.) knob of butter
3 large shallots, chopped
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3-inch sprig of rosemary
1 1/2 pounds yellow or green summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices/chunks
3/4 pound potatoes, un-peeled, cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups lightly flavored vegetable stock or water
2/3 cup buttermilk

garnish with: fresh herbs, toasted almonds, a generous drizzle of olive oil/ melted butter, and/or some crumbled feta

Heat olive oil/butter in large thick-bottomed pan over medium heat. Stir in the shallots, salt, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Saute until shallots are tender - a couple minutes. Stir in the squash and potatoes, and cook until the squash starts to get a bit tender - a few minutes. Stir in the garlic, remove the sprig of rosemary, and then add the stock (or water) to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree with a hand blender. If you like a silkier soup feel free to pour the soup through a strainer. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk, taste, and adjust the seasoning - adding more salt if needed. I like this soup topped with a bit of crumbled feta, some toasted almonds, a drizzle of olive oil, and a small pinch of red pepper - but it's perfectly good straight with no fuss on top.

Serves 6 - 8.

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

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Looks like another mouthwatering classic. Can't wait to try this wonderful creation. It raised my spirits just reading this post and viewing your delicious photos. Nothing like a soul-satisfying soup to make one feel good to the very core. Thank you for this, Heidi!

Kylie @ Fun In Vegas

You can make buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of either lemon or vinegar to one cup of milk.


What a great idea and I absolutely love your photograph of the cups of soup on the silver platter. It's beautiful!


Beautiful photo. I love the tang of buttermilk in soup. We're starting to harvest plenty of squash every day now - we'll give it a try. For those looking for a vegan alternative to the buttermilk, I've used coconut milk in squash soup with a hint of curry powder and it's yummy Deana

Deana Gunn

Heidi, Can you suggest a vegan alternative to the buttermilk? I see that someone asked about coconut milk. Could I use coconut milk plus mashed avocado to get the rich creamy taste? Cheers! --Rebecca


Heidi, you are so inspiring. I love my local farmers market and you've inspired me to spend more at my local vendors and less at the national grocers. Your serving platters and utensils are beautiful too. Love your blog!

Liz Schubert

This does look like a delicious soup .. and what a great way to use up some leftovers. I also use up what fresh (and 'going' ) veggies I have in the fridge at the end of the week to make all sorts of interesting soup combinations. Yum!


This soup sounds delicious, easy and nutritious. The toasted almonds and feta look perfect.

Erica from Cooking for Seven

This looks so good, I love how you used so many of the same ingredients, not just the squash, from the gratin. That's my kind of cooking!

Matt (No Meat Athlete)

The soup sounds perfect for a summer evening, although I'm most jealous of your photo excursion, it sounds like it was a perfect day!


I have never seen green summer squash - although I love squash soup generally - I love how you have garnished with crumbled fetta it looks fabulous

Gourmet Chick

This soup looks lovely. Soups are generally saved for fall and winter here, but using summer squash as a base sounds nice and light! I wonder how it would work using coconut milk for a dairy-free version? Probably not as rich and balanced as with the buttermilk, but worth a try. Thanks, Ali :)

Ali (Whole Life Nutrition)

Mmm, what a delicious idea to use up the ever-abundant summer squash! I love soups year round, in fact we just had one tonight! Love the feta garnish - I bet it adds a nice extra layer of flavor. I forget garnish too often!

Christina (Dinner at Christina's)

I would not usually be drawn to squash soup but your picture makes it look amazing! I for sure want to try it.


I am going to make this summer squash soup Thrusday night ! Served with plenty of fresh crusty French Bread. Perfect for my Patio night. Thanks for this wonderful recipe :) Have a Great Day :)


I am so excited about these squash recipes, because the markets here in Korea are filled with summer squash right now. I haven't actually tried any of it yet because I've been waiting for some good inspiration...I think this may be it!


Hello Heidi, I love these ways of using up summer's squash galore... both the gratin and the soup! Can't wait to try them once I'm up in the mountains in Nagano where we'll have plenty of them pretty soon. I guess I'll have to use sour cream and milk/cream as we don't have buttermilk here, but I guess that should be okay. Oh, might throw in some corn kernels, too! Thanks for sharing the recipes and a 'near perfect California lunch' experience - will we be seeing photos from the day, too? :) HS: Chika, you could go for coconut milk if that is easier for you to find. You might see some of the pictures at some point, but perhaps not on the site ;)


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