Butternut Squash Soup: Cristina Ferrare Shares Her Perfect Fall Recipe

In this week’s Facebook Live: Food for Thought with Maria Shriver & Cristina Ferrare, they chatted about butternut squash soup: a perfect heart, bone and brain healthy recipe for fall. Cristina also revealed big personal news and made an announcement about a KitchenAid giveaway (details below).

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4 to 6soup


  • 3 lbs butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions – peeled and sliced thin
  • 5 scallions – chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ quarts organic chicken stock – homemade or store-bought
  • 4 ounces cream cheese – cut into pieces


  • 2 scallions – white and green parts, sliced thin
  • 1 medium jalapeño – chopped (if you like spicy, include the seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds if available. If not you can substitute nuts, such as pistachios or peanuts, for decoration.
  • pinch of cayenne pepper


  • 1 (16.9 fluid ounce) bottle balsamic vinegar


  • Make balsamic glaze first. Pour the whole bottle into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and continue to boil until the vinegar starts to thicken and forms a syrup-like consistency (14-20 minutes). Be careful not to thicken too much, or you will end up with a thick black goop. To test, use a wooden spoon. If the syrup coats the back of the spoon, it is ready to remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool to room temperature before you store it in the refrigerator. I use a needle-nose plastic bottle to store my glaze after it has cooled. It will last up to a month in the refrigerator. It is easier to work with when it is chilled.
  • Preheat oven 350° F
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into your hand and spread it all around the squash.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until you can insert a paring knife through the middle easily.
  • Remove squash from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the olive oil in a soup pot and turn the heat to medium high.
  • Add the onions and scallions and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to sweat.
  • Slice the squash in half, scoop out seeds and set them aside. (You can dry them out, then roast them in the oven enjoy as a healthy snack!) Scrape out the flesh and place in a soup pot with the onions. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • In a blender, in batches, add 2 ladles of soup at a time and 2 ounces of the cream cheese, blend for 1 full minute. Continue this process until all the soup has been pureed.
  • Pour into a clean stockpot and heat up just until the sides start to bubble.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt as needed.
  • Finish by making your web and sprinkle scallions, jalapeño or pomegranates over the web.


  • Make the spider web when you are ready to serve the soup and it is piping hot!
  • After you have poured the heated soup into a serving warmed soup bowls, take your needle nose balsamic syrup and make 4 circles starting from the widest part of the bowl working your way into the middle.

Use a chopstick, toothpick or sharp knife to make the design for the spiders web. Take the point and place it in the middle of the smallest circle and drag it towards the rim of the plate. Continue to do this until you have completed the circle all the around the dish! You should end up with a fancy looking web! Enjoy!


Special Food for Thought Giveaway:crismaria

This week, enter to win a KitchenAid handheld mixer by visiting Maria Shriver or Cristina Ferrare‘s Facebook page. Comment on the Facebook Live video with a story about a caregiver in your life and tag the post #MariaAndCristinaCaregivers.


Watch Maria and Cristina chat about butternut squash soup and learn about their KitchenAid giveaway in this week’s Facebook Live:


I’m live with Cristina Ferrare with a fall recipe, a special giveaway and an announcement for our viewers (tap for sound)

Posted by Maria Shriver on Friday, September 23, 2016

About the Author

author image

Cristina Ferrare is a New York Times bestselling author. Her fifth and most recent cookbook, Big Bowl of Love was released on Mother’s Day 2011 and she is hard at work on her next series of cookbooks! The success of her books attests to her expertise in the areas of women’s health, wellbeing, culinary arts, stylistic design, as well as her great zest for life and her humor.Cristina served as co-host of “Home & Family along with Emmy Award winner journalist Mark Steines for the Hallmark Channel from 2012 through 2016 and the show received multiple Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lifestyle Program during that time.Cristina is married to entertainment executive Tony Thomopoulos. They have a blended family of seven children and four grandchildren.

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