Toning down broth in soup

Joined Dec 7, 2009
I made my first butternut squash soup the other day using a very simple basic recipe with very few spices. My broth was very rich and it almost seemed to overpower the subtle flavors of the squash. I suppose to dilute the broth/stock would be one option but I would thinking maybe I could counter it another way.

I think competition for center stage amongst the various foods is an interesting topic for chefs and newbies alike.

To let the delicate flavor of a squash really shine must you clear the stage of all other competitors?

Perhaps butternut squash has flavors that are challenged and we need to appreciate it for what it is and not expect too much.
Joined Sep 28, 2008
I risk getting flamed here, but I have a very strong opinion about stocks in my soups, risottos etc.

I believe in letting the ingredients speak for themselves. I find that while chicken stock adds a "body" dimension, it quickly overpowers the other flavors, especially if it is allowed to reduce.

I prefer to use a very light vegetable stock or water in my soups and risottos. I am looking for clean flavors.

An example is my sweet potato corn chowder. I use 7 ingredients in that soup, (water is one) and people rave about the soup.

The question is "how can I treat the base flavor of the soup to let it shine?"


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Me too. I find that a strong and robust stock or liquid part in soup may be real good at the start but it gets old at the end too.
Joined Jan 2, 2010
I make butternut squash soup regularly and it is pretty much demanded for Thanksgiving as a required dish.

Water is all you need. Just salt it carefully. I also roast my butternut squash with olive oil, onions and garlic to bring out the flavors so that a flavored stock is really not necessary.

Thyme, salt and pepper round it out.
Joined Dec 7, 2009
I took your advice and used what I would call a light to medium simple vegetable broth and what a world of difference, how simple a solution. The chicken taste was just awful in a squash soup, I will know now that all the recipes posted on the net are not always that great.

Tonight I made the good version of squash soup, it is the one by an Alton Brown from the food network. It has a little ginger, some honey, nutmeg and veg. stock, cream.

It may please the purists in the group that I elected to go with freshly grated nutmeg and am now using Kosher salt. If you are going to spend the time why not do it right?

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