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Winter Squash Soup with Citrus-Mint Pesto


For soup
  • 3 Tbs. California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Vidalia or Spanish onion – peeled, quartered and cut crosswise in 1/8-inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 lbs winter squash (1 medium butternut squash, kabocha, sugar pumpkin…) – peeled (use vegetable hand-peeler), seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
  • 2 -1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3-3 1/2 cups spring water
  • 1-1/4 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
For citrus-mint pesto
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley (1-1/2 oz.) – tough stems removed
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint – leaves removed from stems
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds – coarsely ground with mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 tsp. orange zest (use microplane grater)
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat large heavy-bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes until golden, stirring from time to time. Add garlic and wine. Stir well and continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes, until wine has evaporated and glazed the onions. Add squash chunks, stock, 3 cups of water, salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and then simmer covered for 30-35 minutes, until squash is very tender.
  2. Add orange juice and purée soup with a stick blender or food processor, until silky-smooth. Thin soup with water to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. While soup is simmering, make pesto. Place all the ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth, for 1-2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl once or twice. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Ladle soup into soup bowls. Place a spoonful of pesto in the center of each bowl and serve immediately.

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