appetizer, recipe, vegetable

Butternut Squash and Anise Soup

Snow! Today was the day the frozen seal was broken. Winter is coming.

I love winter. I love bundling up with soft scarves and mittens, breathing in the crisp air, and walking into warm homes with delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. This soup is one of my favourites as it warms you up from the inside out. The sweet and fragrant butternut squash and anise pair beautifully, and the toasted squash seeds, generously dusted with smoked paprika, adds a hearty crunch.

This healthy and comforting dish makes a wonderful lunch when paired with bread and cheese. It can also be a delicious starter dish for a more elaborate multiple-course meal. Best of all? It can all be made ahead and simply warmed up before serving.

Give this recipe a try and you’ll see why it has become a regular in my house!

Butternut Squash and Anise Soup


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped in 1-inch pieces, seeds removed from the pulp and reserved
  • 600g low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 tbsp dried anise
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add 2 tbsp of oil to a large pot and preheat over medium heat. Once heated, fry the onion until translucent then add the butternut squash. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the broth and anise.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the butternut squash is cooked through and softened, about 20 minutes. Puree using a submersion blender (or food processor) until very smooth with no lumps.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F and toss the squash seeds with 1 tbsp oil, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Bake on a greased cookie sheet until golden and toasted, stirring half way through, about 7-10 minutes.
  4. To serve, pour the soup in each dish and top with a drizzle of olive oil and about 1 tbsp of the seeds.

Serves 6 as an appetizer, serves 4 as a main.
This soup can be made ahead: simply store in the fridge and then preheat over medium-low heat until warmed through. Best storing the seeds separately, though, at room temperature so they retain their crispiness.

  • We love soups, and butternut squash is one of our favorites. I like the addition of anise and paprika, makes it for a tasty flavor combination.
  • Butternut squash soup is one of my favorites, it has such a silky texture! I'm very intrigued by the use of anise as a flavoring, so I'll make sure to try it next time. Happy Holidays!
  • We're so far from snow here; it's crazy warm in Toronto! And though I do love the fact that I can still bike around, I must say, the snow is missed. Loving the idea of adding anise to this recipe; it's one of my favourite spices. Thanks for sharing, Hilary!
  • Ssh, you said a bad word. ha,ha. S-N-O-W
    I love butternut squash but never considered anise. It seems so natural - those flavors totally go together.
    I look forward to trying it, thank you for sharing.
    Kellie from Princess and the Yard Ape
  • I'm so jealous you got snow! It's still bloody warm here in Toronto, and it's making it really hard to get into the Christmas spirit.
    It's still cold enough to be craving soup, though, so this recipe is calling my name. I love butternut squash soup so much that I make it at least once a month as soon as the weather starts to cool off, but I've never tried it with anise before... that sounds like a really lovely change from my usual blend of curry and cumin!
  • It's my new favourite! :)
  • Let me know how you like it!
  • Alas, the snow didn't last. But I'm still cheering for it!
  • Thanks for the comment! If you do try it, let me know what you think!
  • I totally agree with you that the lack of snow makes it hard to get in the holiday spirit- but I'm still cheering for a white Christmas! Thanks for your comment! :)