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.



About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen October 27, 2021 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    I really love the idea of combining the different squashes here since they are all so different. Looks delicious!

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      I couldn’t really discern the different squashes, though. I think just using one would be just as good.

  2. angiesrecipes October 27, 2021 at 8:29 AM - Reply

    Very creamy and Fall perfect!

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      Thank you! Definitely fall perfect!

  3. carrietalkingmeals October 27, 2021 at 8:39 AM - Reply

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

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 6:22 PM - Reply

      And the nutmeg! That was a wonderful addition!

  4. Travel Gourmet October 27, 2021 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    I’m a great fan of soup in the winter months and would love this. Delicious!

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 10:18 AM - Reply

      Just make sure you don’t buy rancid walnut oil!

  5. kitchenriffs October 27, 2021 at 10:10 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 10:18 AM - Reply

      I use thyme is so many dishes starting in the fall. It’s the best.

  6. BERNADETTE October 27, 2021 at 10:35 AM - Reply

    I am definitely a soup person and like all the combinations in this soup. Thanks for sharing this recipe Mimi.

    • chef mimi October 27, 2021 at 6:21 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! It was really wonderful!

  7. Debra October 27, 2021 at 8:46 PM - Reply

    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!

  8. Mary October 27, 2021 at 9:12 PM - Reply

    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. :))

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 7:50 AM - Reply

      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.

  9. Gerlinde October 27, 2021 at 10:01 PM - Reply

    I like the idea of using different squashes. My nephew’s wife in Germany just made a delicious pumpkin used roasted seeds as a topping.

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      All of those squashes are so good! So glad you got to Germany after so long.

  10. David Scott Allen October 28, 2021 at 2:09 AM - Reply

    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.”

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      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!

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 12:23 PM - Reply

      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.

  11. Judee October 28, 2021 at 8:15 AM - Reply

    I’m always a soup person- no matter what the season and this recipe looks exceptional to me. So many wonderful flavors.

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 12:22 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Jude. It’s really exceptional!

  12. Jean | Delightful Repast October 28, 2021 at 2:51 PM - Reply

    Mimi, what I like about this soup is probably the same thing Ripert and Ruhlman like: It is a savory soup rather than a bowl of soupy pumpkin pie filling!

    • chef mimi October 28, 2021 at 3:11 PM - Reply

      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.

  13. spicedblog October 29, 2021 at 6:48 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi October 29, 2021 at 7:35 AM - Reply

      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…

  14. Hannah Kaminsky October 29, 2021 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    100% YES, this is exactly the thing I’m craving. The weather has finally cooled off here and I can’t get enough warming soups and stews. Consider this on the to-do list.

    • chef mimi October 29, 2021 at 11:04 AM - Reply

      So glad you liked it! The white pepper and nutmeg were the stars to me.

  15. Ann Coleman October 29, 2021 at 1:30 PM - Reply

    That soup looks delicious! And it’s funny, because we’re the opposite when it comes to soup. I love soups, and happily eat them all year long.

    • chef mimi October 29, 2021 at 3:19 PM - Reply

      Yes, most people are. Maybe I’d rather chew?!!!

  16. Molly Pisula October 29, 2021 at 2:36 PM - Reply

    That’s a lot of peeling and dicing for the squash, but I bet this soup is really tasty. I like that he doesn’t add a ton of overwhelming spice to the recipe!

    • chef mimi October 29, 2021 at 3:18 PM - Reply

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

  17. Ben | Havocinthekitchen October 29, 2021 at 4:51 PM - Reply

    Hearty and delicious soup. I love that you used 3 types of squashes for the best flavour. Also, loving the addition of walnut oil and nutmeg.

    • chef mimi October 29, 2021 at 6:05 PM - Reply

      I always love thyme and white pepper, but the nutmeg was a wonderful surprise!

  18. petra08 October 31, 2021 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    Your soup sounds delicous! I love walnut oil and what a great idea to add it to squash! :)

    • chef mimi October 31, 2021 at 11:47 AM - Reply

      I thought it was a great addition as well, but I really loved the nutmeg!

  19. neil@neilshealthymeals.com November 1, 2021 at 7:32 AM - Reply

    When squash soup is on the menu it reminds me that winter is approaching. And having just put the clocks into winter mode it’s even more emphasised. Lovely recipe Mimi!

    • chef mimi November 1, 2021 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      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!

  20. Jeff the Chef November 1, 2021 at 10:38 PM - Reply

    I am a soup person! I love squash so much, and I almost NEVER make it at home for some strange reason. And walnut oil = YES!

    • chef mimi November 2, 2021 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      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.

  21. StefanGourmet November 2, 2021 at 2:53 AM - Reply

    Walnut oil turns rancid very quickly, I’ve noticed. I agree that most pumpkin/squash soups depend too much on the spices so you don’t even taste the squash. This looks great!

    • chef mimi November 2, 2021 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      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.

  22. Karen (Back Road Journal) November 4, 2021 at 2:26 PM - Reply

    I enjoy soup anytime of the year although I do tend to think of certain soups as being seasonal and this is one of them. I know I would really enjoy it with its unexpected topping.

    • chef mimi November 4, 2021 at 6:44 PM - Reply

      Unexpected for sure! And wonderful!

  23. Healthy World Cuisine November 7, 2021 at 8:21 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2021 at 7:27 PM - Reply

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

Leave a Reply. I love 'em!