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.

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

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!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


TO Jenette LLOYD in South Africa, Like I remarked in my post on June 17th about butternut and other hard squash, which you seem to say you have in South Africa, these hard squash (as they are called here in the US) would need some pre-cooking to be used for this dish. The squash that are in Heidi's recipe (she calls them summer squash) are called zucchini squash locally, and they come in a variety of shapes and colors, and they are considered "soft" squash. They can be eaten raw (like sliced in salads), and if cooked, they must only be cooked for shorter periods of time, since otherwise they just dissolve (unlike butternut, which needs longer cooking times). So, if you have butternut or hubbard, just precook both (I'd bake until ALMOST done, then after it cools so you can handle it, cut them with a knife, without the seeds or rind, so it is in chunks like you see in Heidi's picture). If you pre-cook your hard squash until ALMOST done, then the rest of Heidi's recipe should work pretty much as written. If I were using hard squash for this recipe, I'd probably cook it the day before so I could cool it in the refrigerator overnight and then use it in the recipe. Since I recommend undercooking the hard squash for this recipe (so you can finish the cooking cycle with the other ingredients and timing Heidi lists), the undercooked squash may not be good for other uses by itself unless you finish the cooking cycle later (a quick zip in the microwave should do it, however!). Hubbard, now that's an incredibly HUGE & delicious squash that I haven't seen whole in years!


I love the body that potatoes add to a blended soup - there is simply nothing like that texture to make a simple soup luxurious. Terrific idea to use crushed red pepper vs. the black - nice change of pace I'll use!


This looks delicious! I really like your blog. And i made the carrot banana cake yesterday, it was the first recipe i made from your blog. And it was very good. This one will be next! All of these ingredients are easy to buy in Holland also, so lucky me. Thank you for all these wonderfull healthy recipes!


Made this soup for lunch for husband...he just retired last week. We both enjoyed it and will make it again soon. It was nice that I had all the ingredients in the pantry and frige. LOL


Made this soup for lunch for husband...he just retired last week. We both enjoyed it and will make it again soon. It was nice that I had all the ingredients in the pantry and frige. LOL


not bad i am a chef myself and been all over the world i tried your recipe and love it


This recipe sounds delicious! Doyou think it would be something you could also serve chilled? HS: I don't think I'd particularly like this one chilled Emily - but room temp and warm are quite tasty.


Not only does it sound like the perfect California lunch it sounds like the perfect photograph. What I wouldn't give for a chance to make that picture and an extra spoon to try that soup.

Penny De Los Santos

I made this last night (NY has been cold and rainy all month, and a 63 degree day in June needs soup). It was delicious-- smooth, tangy. and so flavorful. Thanks!


Please explain to me what is Summer squash in South Africa. We have Hubbart sqash.Gems and Butternut

Jenette LLOYD

pt. reyes images conjured = instant nostalgic memories. thanks for that. soup is lovely, too :) ps. recently tried your 5 minute red sauce. love it!


Silky and aromatic! Great recipe.


Heidi, I was hoping you'd share something about the buttermilk you use; like is it a special type or do you get it direct somehow, or is it from organic farms -- or do you go to the corner grocery and buy whatever commercial buttermilk they have on hand? The squash I see in your picture look like the zucchini-type (these need short cooking times in my experience), and I'll bet the butternut and other sorts of hard squash would be tasty in your recipe too, but these types of hard squash might need pre-cooking.


What a lovely soup and story combination! Sounds like an idyllic picnic lunch! My fiance is really into soups of all kinds and I am always looking for simple ways to make and use them. The veggies are an awesome addition as well!


Hi Heidi, I love soups and I use rosemary a lot, I will certainly try this one, luckily all the ingredients are available in Italy this time! In the meantime I made an Italian version of your Orzo Super Salad for which I used farro pasta, as you suggested and an ingredient called agretti, a salad similar to chives, but I don't know the English for it, maybe you can help me. If you want take a look, it's on my blog. Bye Sabrina


Hi Heidi, I love unfussy soups like this, especially ones that use copious quantities of summer squash. We haven't got them yet here on the east coast, but I wasn't born yesterday -- I know they're coming. I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and am equally inspired by your style of cooking and the fact that so many other people are moved by it, too. Real food sure is beautiful, not least of all on these pages.


I am always looking for new ways to use summer squash; this looks like the perfect soup for summer. Your pics are beautiful! After seeing your beautiful new white kitchen, I have been wanting to do the same to mine. Any chance you can share the name of the painters? HS: Thanks Margaret, I'd be happy to! I used Modamas. Sam was great to deal with (I wrote a more extensive review on Yelp)...in short, they did a great job.


My uncle lives in the family home in San Francisco. Near Anchor Brewing. The hills are so beautiful this time of year. But I am in Texas and our wildflowers have stopped blooming for the season. My tomatoes are starting to bloom. Tomatio are something I am very interested in using for recipes. It is a curious little plant which produces something looking like a squash but different. Have you used them much? My rosemary is from a friends bush. She has the soil to grow it. My soil is just not good for rosemary and I have tried 5 different plants with no success. The rosemary steeped in olive oil is very fun to use. Flavor without the little stems. Thanks for the heads up on the Mason Jar. Great quick and no spoon required.


Heidi, I so look forward to receiving your new recipes in my e-mail. I have made probably only a few, but each one has been a great success. The green split pea soup is such a family favorite. It is frozen for lunches, and requested again and again. I think I am addicted to the otsu recipe,( pretty amazing as I thought I didn`t care for tofu!) I love adding steamed broccoli to the dish. Last night I trialed the savoury zucchini cheese cake, but using cottage cheese instead of ricotta, the family were fighting over the left over slice! The paneer and pea puffs were a huge hit with friends. Keep up the great work.


Greetings Heidi! This looks so appealing. It truly has healthy foods, which is deleted in places. This is a must copy, and try. Looking forward to it!

Anne Gardner- Bleicher

No fuss on top is a nice way to put it, and with so many things in the soup you hardly need a garnish. It looks very pretty in the photos though.

Arwen from Hoglet K

Soup in a mason jar, walnut bread, and a shady picnic table in Tomales. What a perfect lunch! I might just have to do the same thing myself. I can never stay away from West Marin for very long...

denise (chez danisse)

Oh wow, this recipe looks simply amazing. Very beautiful photos too!


With the summer quickly approaching and the squash soon upon us, this recipe sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing.


This soup is simply delicious. I added some leaks as I had some in my fridge. This recipe is a keeper! Nina


I just read the recipe this morning and made the soup this evening. It was wonderful! Thank you so much fro all your amazing recipes. I look forward to cooking even more of your delicious dishes!


Lovely! I adore the idea of a feta crumble on top ~ brilliant idea. Heidi, the description of your picnic in Tomales makes me miss home very much. Lots of happy memories in the Pt Reyes area. :)

Mari at Once Upon a Plate

This looks so summery. I can't wait to make it!

Nutmeg Nanny

I've strayed quite far from the place I call home, which is where you are at now. The San Francisco Bay Area is such a special place - I miss it desperately every single day. My garden (squash included) is starting to flower in the south bay and I'm missing it.


Great idea! Thanks for all your helpful little tips, like throwing spinach in to make it greener, and substitutes for the buttermilk!


Now I know what I'll be making when the zucchini is exploding out of my fridge! Looks fantastic!

Cookin' Canuck

This is great! I was just planning to make the Summer Squash Gratin tonight for dinner. What a wonderful idea for the leftover squash (if I have any...)!

Amy Warden

Delicious idea! I love summer soups...


Haven't made this yet but the photo is simply stunning, Heidi. Simplicity is gorgeous. Love your work :)


It looks delicious! My problem, as always, is a lack of food processor. Did this soup look appetizing/edible pre-puree? I know I have to invest sometime, but in the meantime, I wonder if this soup and others can be served without the creamy texture. Thanks, Samantha HS: Hi Samantha, you know, the soup looked o.k. pre-puree. I use my hand-blender all the time, and it was relatively inexpensive. Really easy to clean as well.


If we were to make it from the gratin, what would we do for that? Would you just add as you like, or would you add a certain amount of the leftovers? Your blog is so wonderful!! I love reading the new recipes, and I gives me new insight on healthful cooking. Thank you! Lauren :)


the soup looks lovely, we make something like this in India with split chickpea n without cheese which is not a traditional ingredient here. your picnic story in enticing.pictures are great as always.......i like the rustic charm in your pics.

sangeeta khanna

The entire thing sounds absolutely spectacular! A very lovely picnic, indeed.You're making me miss California. P.S do you think one could omit the buttermilk and use a bit more potatoe for lactose intolerance?


The south abounds with squash and this option will come in handy. This week I am on a squash kick, if you will, and this might have to debut real soon.


The crumbled feta on top is just the touch of taste and contrast in color. Delicious.

The Duo Dishes

This looks lovely! I'm wondering what you think would happen if I replaced the potatoes (some? all?) with white beans. It would serve a similar thickening purpose, while getting beans into my daughter!


I am eating your delicious black bean salad for lunch, dreaming about the squash gratin, and planning for the soup while I soak up every detail you've written about Point Reyes. I grew up in Marin and am now in Ohio plotting a way to return and am momentarily sustained by your entry today. Thank you. I am so glad I found your site.


For the vegan alternative, you could use soy milk with a little apple cider vinegar stirred in. Or the coconut milk and add a little vinegar. That would give you the "tang" like buttermilk.


I often make a similar soup and in fact do use coconut milk instead of buttermilk. Sometimes I use both.


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 ;)


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Any clickable link to amazon.com on the site is an affiliate link.