Kuri (or Butternut or Pumpkin) Soup with Ancho and Apple

Crema de Calabaza con Chile Ancho y Manzana
Servings: 4


  • 1medium (3 pound) kuri squash or sugar (a.k.a. pie) pumpkin OR 1 small (2 pound) butternut
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 1medium onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
  • 1 medium apple, cored, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/2teaspooncinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
  • Salt
  • Sugar


Peel the squash or pumpkin, chop off the stem end and cut it in half lengthwise, slicing through the cavity that holds the seeds. Wrap and refrigerate half for another use; from the other half, scoop out the seeds and pull off the stringy fibers that entangle them (if a few remain, that’s okay). Scoop the seeds into a small bowl (you should have about ¼ cup) and chop the squash or pumpkin into roughly 1-inch pieces (you should have about 3 cups).

Melt the butter in a medium (3-quart) saucepan set over medium heat. Add the seeds and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are richly golden and the seeds have started to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chile pieces and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, until they are fragrant and lightly toasted. Add the squash (or pumpkin), apple, pepper, cinnamon and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer until everything is very tender, about 30 minutes. Ladle into a blender, loosely cover and blend until completely smooth. (A large, high-powered blender like Vitamix works best here; if yours is smaller, blend in batches. An immersion blender, while easy, will barely blend the seeds.) Set a medium-mesh strainer over the pot and pass the soup through. Season with salt (usually about 1 teaspoon) and a little sugar (½ teaspoon or so brings out the flavor of the apple). Serve warm in warm bowls.


  1. Tastes great! I’m making this soup for a third time right now. I find it easier to put toasted seeds on top rather than cook them with the soup. The first time I made it as directed, and straining the soup was tedious. Maybe if you have a Vitamix it will pulzerize the seeds properly, but my decent Oster wasn’t quite up to the task.

  2. Thank you for Sharing your lovely recipes. My daughter Molly is taking spanish in high school. Her teacher has challenged the students to bring in a traditional Mexican dish that
    they have never tried. We made “day of the dead bread” using your recipe at halloween. It was a huge hit and I got to bake with my daughter. Thank you.

    Her new assignment is in and we are going to make Kuri. We are both very excited nto see how it turns out

  3. I made the soup for the first time tonight, using a part of a large kabocha squash that I had bought for another recipe. Yes, it was terrible to peel! When it came time to blend the soup, my old Oster did its best to grind the large squash seeds up, but the straining was absolutely necessary . Yes, it was a lot of trouble to make, BUT, the soup is fabulous! I saw a version of this recipe in the New York Times. It called for a can of pumpkin. Sorry, that will never have the flavor of a real squash or pumpkin! Grab that package of cut up butternut squash at the grocery store if you are pressed for time. Convenience is important. So is good food!

  4. Use a good ‘OXO’ peeler instead of a knife to peel butternut squash..not so bad OR cut in half, roast and scoop, by far easier

  5. This is really delicious. If you have an Oxo peeler, peeling the squash is no problem, or some supermarkets sell squash pieces already peeled. I doubled the recipe, using one whole butternut squash. Unfortunately, that resulted in a lesser quantity of seeds, but it was still fabulous. Blended in batches.

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