How to Make the California Pizza Kitchen Farmers Market Soup Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

One of the most exciting things about fall coming is the coming of soup weather. Soup’s really like a hug from the inside out, and when the weather finally gets cool enough to make it comfortable to make soup indoors, a nice bowl of homemade soup, and not the canned soup that you must content yourself with over the sizzling summer, is amazing. October is when the Northern states really start to lean into the oncoming winter. Nights that nip of early frost and promise bonfires and warm, satisfying delights take over from hot summer nights of icy drinks on the patio.

There’s two ways to make soup: The easy way and the fun way. The easy way is to grab a can or a frozen box of soup and follow the directions. But not only is that less fun than doing it yourself, but you rob yourself of the opportunity to make your house smell like heaven with the scent of roasting vegetables.

The fun way starts from a counter full of vegetables and can be topped any way you like. Often recommended is a swirl of cream or coconut milk, thyme, and pepitas or pumpkin seeds. California Pizza Kitchen became famous for its brilliant pizza concepts, but they also quickly became one of the most popular venues for California cuisine as it spread across the nation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. CPK is as popular for their non-pizza offerings now as they are for their pizzas.

California Pizza Kitchen farmer’s market soup is one of their popular creations from the mid-2010s. Gone but lamented, this delight has some things in common with CPK’s celebrated potato soup. Instead of earthy potatoes, however, its base is rich, sweet butternut squash pureed to velvety smoothness.

Coming in just shy of 300 calories per cup, this soup is made with seasonal vegetables. Butternut squash being a fall vegetable, it normally comes into season with celery and roots like celeriac, carrot and parsnip. Along with your remaining late summer veggies like red pepper and zucchini, it’s a winner for someone looking for a hearty soup with a touch of luxury from its lovely drizzle of olive oil added just before serving.

Butternut Squash And Root Vegetable Soup After California Pizza Kitchen

When an artist creates a work in the style of another artist, or is an imitation of another artist, they label it “after” the style of the other artist. And that’s what this soup is. It’s an homage to the original Farmer’s Market Soup.

As the name suggests, this soup is a celebration of the wide bounty available to farmer’s markets in the fall, full of winter squash and sturdy vegetables that reach their peak only after the long, hot summer has passed. The basic recipe uses root vegetables and squash as its base – the former will temper the sweetness of the latter. This version includes both pureed vegetables and pieces, to give the soup a pleasant variation of texture.

To start with, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Peel and cube squash and root vegetables, dice one onion and mince 2-4 cloves of garlic.

While it’s often popular these days to say, “Oh, we use as much garlic as we want,” this is supposed to be a sweet and earthy soup. Too much garlic could result in a strong pungency that will quickly end up pleasing nobody.

Combine squash, parsnips, carrots, and onions in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Spread the seasoned vegetables on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. While baking, peel and chop 1 large Granny Smith apple and approximately 1 cup of green beans into 1-inch cubes and ½ inch pieces, respectively.

Stir and return to the oven until lightly browned, about another 10-15 minutes. Check after 10. Depending on where they are and how reliable your oven is at holding an exact temperature, they may need up to another 5 minutes, but they should only be lightly browned, not caramelized. Pour 1 cup of water and set near your stove.

Pull from the oven. Using three corners of the paper or foil, transfer your vegetables to a blender with one cup of the stock and add the apple cubes. Blend until pureed. Transfer to your Dutch oven, stock pot or other cooking vessel. Add the remaining stock and simmer. Once at a simmer, add the additional veggies and simmer until tender, approximately 45-50 minutes.

While cooking, temper the milk/cream before adding by streaming some of the soup into it to gently bring it up to temperature, so it won’t curdle when it hits the hot soup. Add the tempered milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne to the soup as it simmers.

Finish with a swirl of cream or coconut milk, or a drizzle of olive oil, and garnish with croutons, pepitas or another garnish of your choice (I prefer green onions). This soup is fantastic with hearty bread and can make a meal on its own or an appetizer for another hearty fall dinner.

Farmer’s Market Soup, After California Pizza Kitchen

  • 3 cups (1 squash) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced parsnips
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped into ½” pieces.
  • 1 cup fall vegetables, no larger than 1 inch per piece (cut to size if needed). Peas, mushrooms, and bell peppers are delightful. Greens like kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard add a surprising touch to a soup like this.
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Minced garlic to taste (at least 2 cloves)
  • 1 quart of veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup of whole milk or cream (optional) or coconut milk/cream (also optional), plus more for presentation
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Pinch each nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne (substitutions to taste)

For the garnish:

  • Pepitas or other garnish of choice.
  • Sour cream or coconut cream
  • Olive oil

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