Hey there!

It’s been a rainy windy fall day today and nothing sounds better than a hot bowl of soup. I adore soup. Especially around this time of year. It’s so enjoyable to me to cozy up to the table with a steamy bowl of soup. Preferably in my coziest sweater holding the bowl so my hands warm up too. Ahhh fall….

I could eat soup for dinner every day from mid-October through December. My husband…not so much. He is of the mindset that one should not be able to drink dinner. I could see where he is coming from (even though I love pureed soups, sometimes they can seem a little first-course-ish), so I was trying to think of some creative ways to elevate pureed soups to fit-for-dinner quality. Then it hit me.


I cooked some tri-color (any kind will do!) quinoa and added it to the pureed soup and WOW! It totally changes the dish. The al-dente quinoa adds lots of texture and makes the soup much more filling. This is a dish that will satisfy you and that you can feel good about eating.

You start off by roasting the butternut squash. Some soups call for boiling or (eek!) microwaving the squash, but I really love the flavor of roasted squash. Plus, it couldn’t be easier. Just throw it on a pan with some olive oil and let it do its thing!

While the squash is roasting you can make the kale pesto.

Lots of kale, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let it go in a blender or food processor, set it aside, and try to resist dipping your finger in every 5 seconds. Good luck.

Just before the butternut squash is set to be done, heat some oil in a soup pot and sauté a clove of garlic and one chopped onion. Remove the squash and dump it in the pot. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer.

Time to puree!

One very important step: before you puree, let the soup cool about 10 minutes. You kitchen walls will thank you when they are butternut squash puree free.

Pour the pureed soup back into the pot, add the quinoa, and warm through.

Ladle into bowls and top with kale pesto. Feel free to get creative, designs, messages to your dinner guests, whatever you feel like!

This silky, healthy, filling, soup is sure to get your through some rainy nights AND please your soup-judgmental husband. At least it did mine.




Soup Recipe:

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Kale Pesto Recipe:

  • 2 cups densely packed kale leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)


  1. For kale pesto: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, adding more olive oil in necessary.
  2. For soup:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop butternut squash. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place chopped squash on parchment and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once or twice, until tender.

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium pot. Add chopped garlic and onions. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add roasted squash and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot, turn heat to medium.
  4. Add cooked quinoa and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and warm through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into soup bowls and top with kale pesto.

Number of servings (yield): 2

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One Response to Butternut Squash and Quinoa Soup with Kale Pesto

  1. Denise says:

    Tara! What a fantastic recipe! It’s beautiful and certainly healthly too. Thanks for sharing.

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