Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Za'atar Pepitas

Thick and creamy, spiced and savory, this soup is perfect for a special cold-weather dinner.
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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Za’atar Pepitas

Recipe by Janet Taylor McCracken

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 4 cups of 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 2 tbsp. pepitas
  • 1/2 tsp. za’atar


1. In a large saucepan with a lid, heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and cayenne, then the squash. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and simmer the squash until very soft, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a standard blender, blend the soup until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add the lime juice. Season the soup.

2. In a small skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium. Add the pepitas and za’atar. Cook, stirring often, until the pepitas are browned in spots and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 tbsp. oil. Season the pepitas with salt.

3. Warm the soup. Divide among 4 bowls. Top with the pepitas. Drizzle with the za’atar oil.

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