Squash Soup with Nutmeg and Walnut Oil


I’m actually not a soup person, no matter what time of year it is. But I was highly intrigued by this recipe in Eric Ripert’s cookbook, A Return to Cooking. Interestingly enough, the other recipe I’ve blogged about from the same cookbook was an outstanding seafood chowder.

Chef Ripert’s name for this soup is Pumpkin, Acorn, and Butternut Squash Soup with Nutmeg and Walnut Oil. I like the idea of mixing the squashes, and then nutmeg and walnut oil as finishing touches?! Yes please.

Here is the cookbook, published in 2009.

From the author, Michael Ruhlman, regarding this recipe: “Eric almost didn’t make this soup because he’s so put off by overspiced squash soups. While he does add some gratings of fresh nutmeg at the end, the fresh thyme and the walnut oil are the primary seasonings, and the soup retains the flavors of the squash.”

Pumpkin, Acorn, and Butternut Squash Soup with Nutmeg and Walnut Oil
Printable recipe below

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced onions
2 cups peeled and diced sugar pumpkin
2 cups peeled and diced acorn squash
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 thyme sprigs
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 whole nutmeg, for grating

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash dice and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender until satiny-smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining lumps, and return the soup to the pot. Add the cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Bring to a simmer.

Wrap the thyme sprigs in a square of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string. Add to the simmering soup and let infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme bundle and adjust the seasoning.

To serve, divide the soup among six warmed soup bowls. Shave the cheese over each bowl and drizzle the walnut oil over the cheese.

Grate nutmeg over each bowl to taste and serve immediately.

The walnut oil I purchased in August of 2021 and opened in October to make this recipe was rancid. The bottle was sealed, so I was surprised and disappointed. I don’t recommend this brand.



47 thoughts on “Squash Soup with Nutmeg and Walnut Oil

  1. For not being a soup person, you’ve created one delicious soup here! I love all of the flavors…thyme, walnut, cheese!

  2. I DO like soups, and at any time of the year. This looks good — nicely balanced flavor. Plus I’m always a sucker for thyme! Good stuff — thanks.

  3. I do love soups! And this time of year I often make butternut squash soup, but this recipe is a definite home run, Mimi. I enjoy walnut oil once in a while, but often I’m not sure how to use it for the best results. This is great. Thank you!

  4. Probably like nuts the nut oil needs to be refrigerated. I believe that Walnut oil goes rancid very quickly and at the time of purchase has possibly been sitting on a shelf in a warm shop for a while. You will have to try again.. I hope you are able to return the offending bottle poste haste.
    Apart from that the recipe sounds lovely and would make a tasty lunch with a nice chunk of Sourdough. :))

    • You know, I didn’t even try to return it, but I did leave a warning review. I try to always leave good reviews as well, but this was just awful. It could have been heat, but it was well sealed, so it surprised me. But the soup is wonderful! I loved the white pepper and nutmeg parts.

  5. Love everything about this but my favorite part is the walnut oil. I’ve only fallen for the stuff in recent years and it is quite remarkable. Definitely one I will try now that we are in “season.”

    • Unfortunately mine had gone bad, even sealed in the bottle, but yes, it’s truly wonderful stuff. I’ve only used it in salad dressing when I’m enhancing walnuts that are also in a salad. I guess I need to get more creative!

    • I’ve only used walnut oil in vinaigrettes, usually on salads with walnuts, but this was new for me. I just wish it hadn’t been rancid.

    • oh, ew yes! Althought they made a comment about over spiced soups, and I’m probably guilty of that. I have used curry powder spices in pumpkin soups, for example, over the years, and I love that combination. I don’t really know what they’re referring to. But this one was definitely delicate and delicious.

  6. Ah, I do love a good squash soup – it’s perfect for these cold days that have arrived (too soon) here in our area! I haven’t cooked anything with walnut oil in years…time to order a bottle and try this recipe!

    • I like to have various oils on hand for vinaigrettes or dressings on simple salads, but I’ve never used any on a soup. It was a subtle flavor, but very good. Of course I had to imagine it non-rancid…

    • No kidding. It was kind of ridiculous, but I followed through, because I figured the sautéing of the squash added some caramelization.

    • We have another week to go before we do that, and I’m sitting here in the dark as I write this… Such a strange thing to do! I’m just glad the weather has cooled down. This is a good soup, but a lot of work!

    • It’s funny when I read other blogs and come across recipes or ingredients that I never use – even if I love those ingredients! but honestly this soup was a real pain. I’ll stick to opening cans of organic squashes over peeling, seeding, and cubing fresh squashes.

    • Although you can look at it like squash is just a blank palette for other flavors and seasonings. Squash is not a strong flavor by itself. I’ll go either way. I couldn’t believe that the oil would turn rancid while still sealed. Crazy.

  7. Love creamy squash soup with warming spices. It is like taking a sip of fall. Walnut oil, need to check out the specialty markets as that sounds fabulous. Hope you are doing well and wishing you a festive season ahead.

    • Thank you. I’ve only used walnut oil in vinaigrettes, so this was something new! i wish you a festive season ahead as well!

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