Butternut Squash Soup with Sautéed Green Peas and Pesto Sauce

This butternut squash soup is so good, even if you only have time to make one of the two beautiful and tasty toppings. However, I highly recommend that you make both whenever possible, so you can fully enjoy the flavors and textural contrasts of the mildly sweet, silky-smooth soup; the tangy peas-and-green-onion topping; and the grassy, nutty, bright taste of the fresh pesto. The combination transforms three simple parts into a deliciously complex whole.

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By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


For the soup:

  • 10 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash (3 pounds)

For the topping:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1½ cups finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt


  • To make the soup, place the squash in a large sauté pan with a lid and add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool; do not drain. Transfer the squash and its cooking water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, to make the topping, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peas and boil until very tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the peas and let cool.
  • Cook the green onions and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in a sauté pan over medium heat, until they are tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, lime juice, and pepper, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until the ingredients are blended and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
  • To make the sauce, place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, pepper, and salt to taste in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small dish and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to make a creamy paste.
  • When ready to serve, warm the soup until hot and ladle it into bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of the sautéed green pea mixture, and garnish with a spoonful of the pesto sauce. Serve hot.

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Nice soup. I didn't have enough Butternut so last 4 cups were a mix of carrot courgette and sweet pitato. I find it easier just to mix the sauces together with the soup at the end and also freezes well this way.Next time i will use bit more garlic.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
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