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Side Dishes

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Gruyère Fricos

Whether the night before Christmas is an intimate “calm before the storm” gathering or it’s a big night of celebration, start with a favorite seasonal soup — butternut squash. It’s hard to believe that this rock-hard vegetable turns into something so silky and velvety. Before puréeing the soup, test three or four cubes of squash to be sure they’re tender. They should be totally soft or the soup won’t purée thoroughly. And one of the best things about this soup is its garnish. These crispy Gruyère fricos are the perfect contrast to the creamy squash soup.

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Test Kitchen Tip

To easily remove the fricos from the baking sheet, slide a mini offset spatula or knife under each one to loosen. Store fricos in an airtight container


Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the fricos, combine Gruyère, parsley, and pepper flakes. Scoop cheese mixture using a ⅓-cup measure into 6 rounds. Bake fricos until lightly browned, 12 minutes; transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes to crisp.

For the soup, melt butter with oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, sage, sugar, paprika, mace, and pepper flakes; sweat until onions soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in ¼ cup brandy; cook until evaporated. Stir in squash, broth, and bay leaves; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer soup until squash is fork-tender, about 20 minutes; discard bay leaves. Purée soup with a handheld blender; stir in cream and heat through.

Season soup with salt and brandy; serve soup with fricos.


A ⅓ cup is perfect for measuring the fricos. Spread the cheese mixture into flat circles.


To prepare the squash, halve it lengthwise, scoops out seeds, and peel it until you reach orange flesh.

Nutritional Facts

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